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Cooperation along the Meuse

Where cooperation along the Meuse has been rooted for years, Maastricht is getting a valuable extension. The historic ensemble Landbouwbelang will be revitalized, with the warehouses and halls housing creates a trendy living environment. Through this transformation, the industrial complex will be preserved, keeping the characteristic place a part of the city. The mix between old and new construction with maximum preservation, is a new step in the repurpose of the existing buildings.

Project info

Tender 2023

Mosaic World, Grouwels Vastgoed

43,000 m2 GFA (approx. 28,000 m2 residential / approx. 15,000 m2 studios, expo, restaurant, club, hotel, working, urban farming, makerspaces, parking, other)

43.000 M² GFA

Landbouwbelang: stronger through cooperation

The history of Landbouwbelang attests to a solid history of cooperation. Between 1939 and 1970, the storage and processing of grain took center stage here, founded by “Vereeniging Landbouwbelang,” a cooperative agricultural buying and selling association. The principle of “stronger through cooperation” was put into practice here, during the second cooperative wave. This wave was a reaction to economic growth due to private ownership. Cooperation offered many better buying and selling opportunities as a result.

In addition to the fertilizer hall, warehouse and main building of Landbouwbelang, the Kleihallen are also within the plan area. The Kleiputhal is part of the larger adjoining complex of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Papierfabriek (now SAPPI), founded in 1850. The building is connected to the rest of the factory by a bridge. In the hall, paper was smoothed with clay, an important innovation for which the direct access to the river the Meuse was useful.

Also characteristic of the industrial area are the large cranes along the quay. Of the total complex, only the Landbouwbelang section and the lock house have a status as a municipal monument. After the monument stood empty for a long time, squatters have developed Landbouwbelang into a valuable cultural refuge over the past twenty years.

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From ‘industrial island’ to connected city district

By connecting to existing water and green structures, and by leading slow traffic routes through the complex and to the quay, the district is connected to the surrounding urban network. This will allow Maastricht people to walk a ‘round the Bassin’ and the industrial heritage will enter into a new relationship with the city.

The historical buildings will be preserved to the maximum. Three volumes will be added to the existing family of warehouses, gradually building up from the Bassin to a height accent at the lock. The new composition of building elements remains airy by taking into account sightlines from the Bassin, so that there is also enough daylight on the site.

In connection with possible high water, the quay will be raised, which includes the entrance for the parking garage. Directing fast traffic away upon arrival will create a free fordable area around the complex and promenade where the pedestrian is central.

Safety through visibility

The active program in the plinth with 16-hour liveliness makes visitors feel safe and seen even at night. The active passages on the sides of the complex contribute to the lively and safe experience at plinth level, where parking is resolved in the daylightless zone of the ensemble.

Together with the extensive program of creative activity to various restaurants, the project invites every Maastrichtian to become an active part of this new piece of the city.

A family of warehouses and towers

The existing ensemble consists of the complex of Landbouwbelang (‘30), the part of KNP (‘50) and a low intermediate hall connecting the two complexes. The later intermediate hall and the Clay Halls will be partially demolished, reusing the existing foundation, steel trusses, concrete and masonry.

The industrial heritage retains its identity by leaving the distinctive facades and cranes in place. Three high-rise volumes form a new ensemble, with a unifying formal language that comes from the existing ensemble.

For example, the many chamfered, moment-proof hennebique corners recur in the facades in the wooden first tower (Landbouwbelang); the robust concrete architecture recurs in tower two (intermediate building); and the “paper” curtain wall with its light materialization at the third tower refers to the paper mill (KNP). Besides the angles as the Leitmotif, the earthy tones refer to the marl, loam and gravel from the Meuse River.

Cultural and social living room of the city

In Landbouwbelang, residents and visitors can feel at home with a program for progressive entrepreneurs, creatives and initiators. Thus, the former Kunstmestloods is preserved and two large windows connect this new KUNSTmestHal with city and quay. This large, freely dividable city hall can be used flexibly for events, exhibitions, a pop-up cinema, an indoor market, and more.

Local food for the community

Vertical urban agriculture takes place in the silo building, where Aquaponic care farm Phood Farm cleverly utilizes the height of the old silos and delivers produce to the nearby community. In addition to vegetables, a sense of community is cultivated by having residents garden at the Phood Farm.

Other innovative food businesses in the complex include Mosa Meat, which grows vegan meat in the Agricultural Interest complex. A community kitchen is also present in the run down villas on the property.

Concept stores, studios, expo and clay club

Since 2002, creative people have set up a cultural refuge in Landbouwbelang. We are safeguarding this creativity in the transformation. With concept stores, studio and exhibition spaces, we offer space to young creators in the form of pavilions in the main hall and serve as a store, studio and workplace in one.

During the day, visitors can attend workshops in a variety of creative topics. One can visit the vertical Phood Farm or the art studios, or can go on a special silo tour in the silo hall about the history of the place. With good weather, Maastrichters swim in the city swimming pool in the Meuse, and in the evening they can dance in the Kleiclub, a disco among the Kleiputten.

Diverse customized residential program

The bulk of the program consists of a mixed residential program of social, middle and upper rental, long-stay programs and owner-occupied housing.

Within this 340-home program, which is carefully tailored to the housing needs, age and marital status of Maastricht residents, community building is central. This includes micro-living apartments with shared facilities, move-in ready longstay (from 3 to 12 months) homes, lofts, studio homes and live-work facilities.

Living in and above industrial heritage

Artists and makers can rent a loft as a live-work residence. This residence in the old silo/ warehouse serves as an atelier and live-work residence, which can also accommodate Maastricht students, in particular.

In the southernmost volume, co-living housing is offered for students, young people, starters, as well as singles and seniors. Four independent living units share a living room and kitchen behind the same front door, allowing tenants to live “collectively independently”.

The middle volume consists of housing with customized care at your fingertips. In the social and middle rental segment, young people living in assisted living, (young) adults with specific support and the elderly find their place. There is easy access to care and job assistance through the on-site care support center.

The highest volume accommodates larger households. Below, a number of quay apartments are designed as high-end maisonettes. Higher in the tower are more spacious 3-room apartments where one can live large in peace.


Innovative sustainability

Through the transformation, the Landbouwbelangkwartier is once again the forerunner of innovation and creativity. In the diagram, all measures regarding CO2 reduction, reuse, future-proofing, nature inclusiveness and more are indicated and explained.

Some innovative measures include the saltwater battery in which electricity is stored; the energy-generating facades and roofs, thanks to 1750 m² of PV panels; the heat-cold storage in the soil; the intensive reuse of existing materials, such as the foundation, brickwork in the pavement, trusses as pergolas; building with flexible and adaptable, wooden structures.

Biodiversity and site design

Across the entire project area, both at ground level and elevation, green spaces for people and nature will be created. Residents grow vegetables on the productive roof along with the activity, stay on the nature roof, or unwind on the ecological water roof where rainwater is visibly collected.

Biodiversity is further promoted above and below the water surface. At the floating terrace there is room for underwater nature with the biodiverse lock bowl. Along the Meuse, green plants climb the industrial cranes and overgrown pergolas made of reused trusses from the factory.

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