2011 - 2014


2011 - 2014


Bureau B+B and Blok Kats van Veen architects created the most sustainable bridge control centre in the Netherlands. Both the building and the site reflect the highest ambitions. The terrain has rich vegetation and is attractive to humans and wildlife.


Alphen aan de Rijn


Gemeente Alphen aan den Rijn

2011 - 2014

Blok Kats van Veen Architecten

Surface Area

6800 m2

The bridge control building Steekterpoort is located at the junction of the Gouwe Canal and the Oude Rijn River. The building and site have a utilitarian character, just like the Gouwe and the industrial lock bridge. The site matches the sustainable design of the building and the characteristic qualities of the surrounding landscape. The control centre is placed on a robust quay with tarmac and concrete slabs. Parking places are located underneath the building and near the slope, hiding the cars from view. The quay itself is accessible to the public. Long benches are placed on the quay and in the surrounding area.

The eastern part of the site is covered by flowering meadows on a gentle slope. A winding ditch collects, buffers and filters the water. Diverse riverbank species grow along the ditch, while the dryer areas have natural field vegetation. The water flows from the grassed areas into a concrete gutter in the quay. The inside of the gutter has openings, where plants can grow.

The ambitions for sustainability are continued in the site design. That is why it was deliberately decided not to plant or sow any plants, but to allow the area to be invaded by wild seeds, spread by the wind, animals and people. As a result, a colourful flowering meadow spontaneously appeared. The meadow is dotted with different kinds of ash trees with varying leaves, flowers and autumn colours. The ecology can be experienced all over the area. The functioning of the water system is visible in different places. The path between the road and the main entrance of the building runs through the meadow and crosses the ditch on two occasions. The existing bicycle lane is integrated into the design. The landscaping naturally merges the control centre with its surroundings.