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Hoog Catharijne, Utrecht

Hoog Catharijne is one of greater the commercial centers under ceiling of Europe. In their interior, 180 stores contain proposals for all the tastes and needs: fashion, decoration, perfume shop and much more. Four cinemas and one ample gastronomical supply composed by bars, coffees and restaurants complete the picture.

But to only think about Hoog Catharijne as in a set of businesses it would be a partial vision. In truth, the building in itself and its symbolism as center of purchases burst in into Utrecht of peculiar way and caused a great controversy. Arguments to favor and have against not been able, until today, to reconcile positions.

Without doubts, the most outstanding elements by admirers and detractors of the project are their colossal size, the complexity of their structure, and its shortage of color. Or to criticize it or to praise it, it is not possible to deny that these are their showy characteristics the more, and those that confer to the building their personality.

In the decade of `60, Hoog Catharijne was an ultramodern answer to the urban requirements that made the construction of a commercial center for the city almost inescapable. Tons of concrete became a gray giant that since then dominates the views of this part of Utrecht.

Its austere aspect was beaten during the past few years with combinations of colors that they looked for to give to life and dynamism to the facade. Numerous specialists - architects, designers, colouristic, art professors, among others participated in tending projects to equip it with one more a friendlier appearance.

It is possible to consider that this long process was accompanied of initiatives similar destined to the areas bordering to the building. In fact, during last the three decades the urban architecture of Utrecht has seen modify seen his of gradual but radical way. Strongly connected with the art and the culture, this city was very kind its own esthetic one, and thanks to it today we can almost enjoy it as to a masterpiece the many talented ones that they participated in its transformation.

Practical information

  • Address: St. Jacobsstraat 200 - Utrecht
  • Schedules: of Tuesday to Saturdays, 9,30 to 18 hs. ; Monday from the 11 hs.
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