The Student Hotel – City
Retail and Hotels
Electrotechnical, Mechanical, Access control and Fire safety installations
Retail and Catering
From factory to housing. It all started 10 years ago, with the very first Student Hotel in Rotterdam. When Charlie MacGregor came up with the idea to create the first hotel for students, Albert Engel, Bectro’s director, knew exactly how to handle it. A challenge that was unique in its kind. Was, because by now TSH has grown into a chain with 11 establishments in the Netherlands. TSH likes to settle in unique buildings with a history. For Bectro, this ensures, on the one hand, the power of the oiled machine, but on the other hand, the characteristics of the building in question have to be taken into account.
The youngest member of the TSH family opened its doors in September 2017. Herewith, it blows new life into the old Sphinx building in Maastricht, the former manufacturer of sanitary facilities. This building has the status of cultural heritage, and that means that as an installer you cannot just remove and replace everything. For example, old porcelain mills still exist in the basement of the building (whether or not it is functioning) and the façade of the building has been honoured by opting for insulation on the outside. The material is provided with fire-resistant coating and is plastered in a way that makes the new façade look exactly the same as the old one. With this isolating layer there is now more space and light in the building. By the way, the new windows are inspired by the old frames and two rows have been made of all the remaining smaller windows that were still in a good condition.
Bectro is specialized in electro-technical installations, but also became familiar with the supply of mechanical and fire safety installations. In TSH Maastricht, for example, electro-technical facilities have been installed that could provide approximately 200 households with electricity. All rooms can be accessed wirelessly, you do not have to look for a power outlet anywhere and the Wi-Fi network is also running at high speed. So, the Sphinx is ready for the modern end user.
It is clear that the architect of the original building had absolutely no idea at the time what would happen in the building in 2017. That is exactly why this project is so precious. Bectro has to find its way in the old factory as an installer with innovative solutions and with modern techniques. An example of this can be seen in the choices for raising the floors. In this way, extra space has been created for all technology, but visibly nothing has changed in the building.
A question that remains is why would an installation company from Amersfoort move a whole team to Maastricht, if there were also installation companies in Maastricht who wanted to pick up this job? The answer to this question is the quality that Bectro has delivered since the first Student Hotel. This has resulted in close cooperation that has been going on for years now. As a result, not only the technicians are prepared to leave home for a long time, but trust has also arisen from the client. That is exactly why Bectro was not appointed as a sub-contractor, but as a secondary contractor. This is quite unique for an installation company, especially in cooperation with large contractors such as the BAM. The BAM is the other secondary contractor. For this cooperation not only the establishment in Maastricht was addressed, but also the establishment in Weert.
Therefore, this does not only require a thorough approach during the preparation of the
work, but also a smooth communication during execution. Project leader Electro-technique Marc Koot, talks about the hooks and eyes that come with it. When I asked him about the collaboration, Marc jokes: “In the construction industry we sometimes use the expression: No glare without friction. Well, this building will really shine.” Just like with all other things in life, not everything goes smoothly in the construction industry. But that is also the beauty of such a process, when the doors will open, the students have the space to find their own way in life.
That is the power of Bectro, positively approaching adversity. Project leader Jeep Heida finds a good balance in motivating the men when they are away from home for a long time. Most mechanics work twelve hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Afterwards, they luckily receive a nice meal in a beautiful environment, but of course it is a different kind of work than when you can go home after a long day. This is all the more motivating to ensure that the work is delivered as well as possible. Time pressure is accumulating, but Bectro is also completing this project in a beautiful way.