Cultural buildings are an important building block of an urban ecosystem.Aside from functioning as a stage for miscellaneous activities such as theatre, film, dance, etc. these places form a breeding ground for encounters and with that a potential catalyst for community building. In addition, these buildings play a role in acquiring all kinds of skills linked to various cultural expressions, so at the same time these places become a stage for talent development. With the deployment of cultural buildings, a contribution can be made to the vitalization of existing neighbourhoods.
The ‘Louis Hartlooper Complex’ in Utrecht is an example of this approach. The former police station Tolbrugsteeg from 1928, was transformed into a centre for film and culture. The building is part of the ‘Museums Quarter’, a historic part of town where municipal policy focuses on reinforcing and extending cultural and educational functions and providing public access to the cultural heritage of the built environment. The centre is a meeting place for producers, associations, companies, schools and other interested parties dealing with film and culture. The design is awarded with the National Transformation Award for Federal Monuments.