Masterplan redevelopement railway station Maastricht

From gateway to link in urban fabric

For the redevelopment of Maastricht station, the architectural master plan of Ruland Architecten represents the ambition with which the monumental station building will regain its partly lost grandeur. More than ever before, the station will become the logical link within the urban fabric of the city of Maastricht.

 

Since its opening in 1916 Maastricht’s iconic station has been an all-encompassing urban and dynamic building, designed by the then railway architect G.W. van Heukelom. For the train traveler, it is the gate of the city, the starting point of a beautiful walk to the Maas and the city center. Conversely, the building forms a monumental end of the Stationsstraat and is an important landmark. Maastricht station is a national monument and part of ‘The Collection’ special station buildings of ProRail and NS.

However, after more than a century the social role of the station building has changed. The municipality of Maastricht has planned several interventions in the immediate vicinity of the station with plans for large urban developments. This prompted NS Stations to draw up a masterplan for the redevelopment of the station building. Ruland Architecten is the architect of this master plan entitled “From gateway to Maastricht to link in urban fabric”.

The grandeur of a beautiful monument
Due to the changing function of the railwaystation, many changes and adjustments have been made to the use of the building. The handling of luggage, offices for customs and stationmanager housing have disappeared. Monumental spaces are also no longer accessible to the public and are heavily cluttered and neglected. The original passenger route through the station hall and the passage to the platforms has been significantly modified and fragmented, with consequences for the operation and liveliness of the station building.

The restoration of the monumental character, the original grandeur and the spatial quality of the station building is the major task of the masterplan. The old routing through the building will be restored, vacant spaces newly filled in and new functions and users can be added to the program. A number of structural interventions in the existing building are necessary. Van Heukelom used various architectural themes, so-called buildingblocks, in the original design. These can be used again to ensure a coherent architectural design in terms of design, materialization, detailing and use.

Renewed connection with the station square
The architecture of the station building is very closed to the station square. At the time this was a logical choice based on the use and functioning of the building. Moreover, the station forecourt was always designed as a roundabout for the transfer to regional and city buses.

Fitting in with the original structure and appearance of the building, using the aforementioned building blocks, the facade is opened at strategic locations. New retail functions can be directly accessible from the station square, combined with the option for terraces. A new connection is made with the station square and station street.

Link in the urban fabric
The railway and station complex has always been a barrier in the connection between the center of Maastricht and the eastern neighborhoods. A traverse connects the districts from the station hall but this detonates with the monumental station building.

After the successful development around the A2, the Groene Loper, the municipality of Maastricht has the ambition to remove the rail barrier at an urban level in a sustainable way. Within this context, the master plan offers a framework-setting researcharea to better connect the station building to one of the new east-west connections in the future. To once again become the important link in the urban fabric.

The redevelopment of Maastricht station will gradually extend over a longer period. The master plan is strategic in nature: it is flexible, negotiable and able to anticipate the new and unexpected. The main contours of the image to be pursued are thus fixed and the direction determined. The elaboration of the first phase to a design by Ruland Architecten is now in the specification phase.

With the proposed interventions, the monumental value and grandeur of the station building is made visible and reinforced again. The original routing through the building is restored and the vacant spaces are activated. The building comes back to life and opens up to a revitalized station square. In doing so, it regains its important position as one of the gates of the city of Maastricht and as a link in the urban fabric;

“I’m here, this is Maastricht!”

LocationMaastricht
Floor area10847 m2 bvo
Year2016 – 2018
StatusCompleted
ClientNS Stations, Utrecht
ArchitectRuland Architects, Amsterdam
ImagesRuland Architects, Amsterdam