The Ruimte voor Werk (Space for Work) coalition has launched the competition for the top outstanding examples of projects to create and preserve workplaces in the city. Six nominees were selected from all the entries. A jury of external experts chose MENU in Utrecht as the project with the best mix with Ruimte voor Werk. “MENU was chosen as the winner because of its clear vision of preserving affordable space in the city, combined with the demand for diversity in entrepreneurship and how to further expand mixed-use programming in the coming years,” the jury said. The jury also appreciated the commitment of the development consortium, the cooperation with the various stakeholders to remain involved in the project both programmatically and management-wise as partners”, aldus Vince de Jong, initiator of the award.
“Winning this award definitely touches on recognition and underlines the pressing need of creative entrepreneurs within Merwede that MENU is responding to on a building level.”Eric de Leeuw, Janssen de Jong Projectontwikkeling
“The characteristic depot building will be preserved and new qualities will be incorporated, such as a wooden topping, which is not only circular but also Paris Proof. The present building is a building you would not easily fall in love with now; typically 1980s and a surly, gated look. After transformation, it will contain a diverse programme combining manufacturing, hospitality and living. The building will have a cathedral-like spaciousness, lending itself perfectly as a meeting place and adding value to the neighbourhood.”Michiel van Loon, architect en partner Mei architects
MENU is a development in which a market hall with restaurants, creative activity and urban agriculture will be realised on the site of the former bicycle depot. This vibrant spot in the new urban district of Merwede Utrecht has been created in collaboration between Lingotto, 3T Vastgoed and Janssen de Jong Projectontwikkeling. Eric explains: “Due to the broad interpretation of work functions, MENU functions as a city within a city. By mixing it up with other functions, MENU forms a robust 24/7 system with housing, hotel and a circular department store, boosting the economic vitality of the Merwede city district.”