The famous Hoog Catharijne, with over 150 stores and around 26 million annual visitors, is one of the largest shopping centres in the Netherlands. In addition to hosting numerous clothing stores, electronics and restaurants, it is also a multi-purpose recreation centre with a cinema and the Vredenburg concert hall. The shopping centre enjoys a central position, being an integral part of the modern Utrecht Centraal station, which is adjacent to the main railway junction of the country. The building was entirely rebuilt, in 1973. It has direct access to the station. Recently, it was redeveloped (between 2008-16) with a project by the architectural firm Benthem Crouwel Architekten. A large glass structure separates the shopping area from the new train and bus station, with spacious parking lots within walking distance.
Airtècnics has been commissioned to find the ideal solution to integrate air curtains with the peculiar characteristics of the new Hoog Catharijne shopping centre's entrance door. Our experts have studied various options to combine the benefits offered by the installation of air curtains at the entrances of crowded buildings, where the flow of visitors and travellers is very high and constant, as in the case of this shopping centre – located at an essential key-hub for transport in the Netherlands. Not just for the correct air conditioning of the area which guarantees comfort to customers and staff, while keeping the door open. The air curtain is the best protection against dust and external pollutants, avoiding annoying air currents, it also allows easier access for people with disabilities and increases security by facilitating exit in case of emergency. All this is combined with a lower CO2 emission, respecting the environment, as well as significant savings in energy costs.
Among the various options offered by Airtècnics for the entrance to the Hoog Catharijne, the favourite was the solution with our multiple ZEN air curtains. Very attractive in modern and customizable design. These are decorative and customizable air curtains, able to perfectly combine with the architectural design of the door and also with the structure in its entirety, enriching its aesthetics as an ornamental element.
In the front door of the busiest shopping mall in the Netherlands, Airtècnics has installed numerous ZEN air curtains to entirely cover the entrance, from one side to the other, giving the impression that it was the aesthetic design of the door itself. We have both designed and installed panels with 300mm height above the standard, in such a way that it results in an installation at a distance as low as possible to achieve maximum efficiency and offer the pleasant sensation of continuity with the black upper support of the door. Otherwise, a gap between the air curtain and the upper section of the entrance door would have been evident.
The visitors were very enthusiastic. As stated in the various comments written on TripAdvisor, they show a high level of satisfaction for the new shopping centre “connected to Utrecht central station with a lot of different shops, stores, foods and drinks” which is “beautiful, spacious and lighty, airy, pleasant to be around”. And also for the aesthetic and architectural features of the building, “a very clean and bright decoration, easy access to all shops, restaurants, decorative water fountains. When you come to Utrecht, it is a must see that you have to do to this place”.