Construction is now in full swing on Helix, a new multi-tenant building in the Leidsche Rijn neighbourhood of Utrecht. Designed by Paul de Ruiter Architects for the property developer AM, the building was conceived to meet businesses’ growing need for work premises that support the health and well-being of their staff, are easily accessible by public transport, are designed to be future-proof and command attention. Helix meets these needs in a striking design featuring a showstopping spiral staircase.
Levi Boerman, business development manager at AM: “Considerations for the health and well-being of residential and commercial tenants are woven into our core values, and Helix is practically a blueprint for addressing these considerations comprehensively and effectively. Consequently, the building is on course to achieve a GPR score of 8 and has been registered for WELL Building Standard certification, an accreditation from the world’s first sustainability-based system focusing exclusively on measuring, monitoring and certifying the impact of a building’s features on human health and well-being. Though we had to forgo the usual celebrations to mark the commencement of work on the site, owing the current circumstances, we are pleased that work on the Helix is now in full swing and look forward to celebrating the opening of this healthy building with all our partners.”
The addition of a multi-tenant building of such allure just north of the city centre constitutes an important boost for the stature of this business district. The building offers over 10,000 m2 of rentable floor space, four floors of offices and two decks of indoor parking with room for about 150 cars. It is also easily accessible by public transport.
Construction is being overseen by BAM Bouw en Techniek and delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.
A healthy urban environment for workers
Helix, by Paul de Ruiter Architects, heeds society’s call for healthier places to live and work. It encompasses a mix of invigorating spaces that promote well-being, create a pleasant work environment and facilitate interaction and socialising. And it is, above all, sustainable.
Paul de Ruiter: “Corkscrewing its way to the top of the atrium is a spiral staircase of singular beauty that is visible to drivers zipping by on the A2. The scale, form and visual appeal of this fixture are calculated to entice workers to take the stairs rather than the lift, thereby promoting physical activity. It is also designed to foster a sense of community workers from the building’s various tenants.”
Natural light illuminates the Helix’s every corner, thanks to an end-to-end glazed façade, a patio and two large atria. The ground floor of the side overlooking the street features an open and airy double-height area for socialising that includes an inviting lobby, a restaurant and a set of meeting rooms.
The design is rooted in multiple efficiencies, including that of resource-efficient construction and materials. The building is also designed to be highly adaptable, enabling its interior to be repurposed according to its tenants’ changing needs.
Sale concluded and leasing proceeding at a rapid pace
Property developer AM have sold Helix to the German asset management fund Principal Real Estate Spezialfondsgesellschaft mbH, and more than sixty per cent of the building’s rentable floor area has already been leased to Regus, the multinational provider of serviced offices, and 2AT, the IT company.
Street art as site hoarding
Instead of the usual site hoarding, AM asked the young, nationally and internationally renowned graffiti and street artist Joost Zwanenburg to create a piece of street art. The striking work measures ten by six metres, and its choice instead of something more conventional reflects the equally arresting design of the building that will soon stand on this site and marks the start of construction. The piece, like the spiral staircase, is visible from the A2.