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Ricardo Rail | Utrecht
Ricardo Rail | Utrecht
Ricardo Rail | Utrecht


This was the overriding wish of international technical rail company Ricardo Rail during the refurbishment of their new office building! WIAR Workplace Performance enlisted the expertise of Plan Effect to set the wheels in motion and devise a tailored office design. They opted for SKYE in an attention-grabbing oxide red – reminiscent of train rails – to make a bold statement.

Ricardo Rail was initially located at Hoog Catharijne in Utrecht. Whereas employees previously only had a view of grey buildings, they now look out over the water of Utrecht’s Daalsesingel.
The location for the new office space is more attractive, making it easier to recruit new people. Post COVID, people are attracted to an office if it is in an easily accessible location, boasts many facilities, and modern furnishing. Recruitment and selection has always been good at Ricardo Rail, resulting in many young people working there. They don’t just want to work from home, but rather come to the office to work together and learn from each other.

Ask a carpenter: “Which saw or chisel do you work best with?”

WIAR wanted to know in advance what its employees consider important. This formed the basis for the office design. A workplace survey was therefore launched prior to the design. Ricardo Rail employees received an online questionnaire with work-related questions, such as:

1. How many hours a week do you spend in the office?
2. What facilities should the new office have?
3. What essential improvements should the new office have?

The arrival of COVID meant that the spaces at Ricardo Rail had to be significantly updated during the design phase based on flexible working. Something that the company had not often experienced during the design phase. In the end, 40% Social Space was created (open spaces) and 60% Team Space (office spaces).

Ricardo Rail is a technical engineering firm with diverse activities. The company operates in several specialised teams. The open work floors are interrupted by office and consultation areas to create open spaces, preventing noise pollution between them, and allowing everyone to work in a concentrated way.

Sustainability was also a key focus. The requirements for sustainability are the same for Ricardo Rail at every location around the world. Partly because of this, Plan Effect’s sustainable products were the right solution.



A glass partition with wide profiles at the top and bottom is Ricardo Rail’s statement. SKYE lends itself perfectly to this. A coating in red-brown oxide colour was chosen. This makes the profiles of the partition resemble railway tracks. The SKYE partition has wide profiles and yet it still remains slender in design. The width forms the statement, and the colour makes it a visible subject in the office.

“The colour is quite bold, but SKYE’s profile makes it stand out. If the profile were thinner, it would not come into its own and would no longer be a statement. It is exactly that wide surface which gives the interior a unique cachet,” says André Roessen, Project & Contract Manager – WIAR.

Because Ricardo Rail has an affinity for engineers and technology, the glass partitions feature visuals of well-known engineers.

Project | Ricardo | Plan Effect



“For over 20 years, WIAR has been realising beautiful projects with Plan Effect. Once again during this project, requirements and solutions were well considered. Plan Effect submitted the best offer. That means for price, quality, planning as well as sustainability The preparations for the project went smoothly and even during construction, hardly any peculiarities were reported. If there was a report, it was quickly resolved by the team. That is very important and valuable for the progress of the project!”, says André Roessen, Project & Contract Manager – WIAR.

The Ricardo Rail project was also delivered to the full satisfaction of the client, on time and within budget. That is admirable and important. Something Plan Effect strives for during every project. The Ricardo Rail office has now been in use for a year. No peculiarities or complaints have emerged during the use of the office project either. Everything is functioning as it should. It is important to look beyond the delivery and ask the question: “What happens afterwards?” Plan Effect consistently factors this into their approach. The focus remains on long-term functionality and sustainability at all times!