Noise Wall and Car Showroom near Utrecht
This luxury car showroom is integrated into a 1.5-km long noise wall separating an industrial district from the A2 motorway near Utrecht. Motorists driving past at 120 km/h can catch a glimpse of the 5,000 m2 display space inside through its all-glass front. The automotive theme is also exploited in the dynamic lines of the building. To keep the number of foundation piles down to a minimum, the architects developed a space frame spanning 9 m from pile to pile. The money saved was then spent on the visible upper parts of the building. The steel profiles of the space frame were fitted with overlapping panes of toughened glass sealed with hard rubber profiles, an arrangement which accommodates any temperature-related changes in the support frame.
Where the noise wall develops into the showroom, the individual panes gradually double in size towards the centre. The facade of this main section, with its diagonal frame, is thermally separated and double-glazed. Unusually the 42-mm thick double glazing units are fitted directly to the supporting steel frame. This is only possible because the frame here is very stiff and displays virtually no deformation. From the base of the building up to the 133-m long ridge, the glass has a solar coating, increasing in performance towards the ridge. In strong contrast to this glass front is the rear of the building, clad almost entirely in sheet metal.