"Mother Meuse"

< Architecture


Multiple use of space for the river Meuse

and the city Maastricht.


Climate change is expected to bring an increase in the amount of rainwater to be discharged by the River Meuse in the coming decades. The inner city of Maastricht, already a trouble spot in water management terms, will fare far worse as a result. In addition, humankind is making ever greater claims on space. Steps should be taken to convey the water by way of Maastricht further downriver to the North Sea.


From threat to chance!















Mother Meuse regards climate change as an opportunity for the city rather than a threat. The solution for this problem, the water network endows Maastricht with additional spatial quality.


The water network has a permanent duty to perform in the city. It is based on the differences in height in and around Maastricht. A water course added at the low-lying parts of both west and east banks can divert the river water away from the trouble spot. This will raise the Meuse's discharge capacity from 3275 m3/s to 3725 m3/s. Since these extreme water levels occur only once in 100 to 250 years, the water network will resolve a second water-related issue, namely the discharge of local rainwater.


Wadis lead the rainwater out of the suburbs to the brooks running through the existing valleys. These in turn discharge water into the watercourse, from where the water can be conveyed to the Meuse. This means that the rainwater need no longer travel the drains and water purification circuit.


Mother Meuse entails a radical and comprehensive restructuring of Maastricht. It takes into consideration the differences between the east and west banks. Time wise the project covers several decades of development and realization.


I especially concentrated on the block in the hart of the city Centre on the west bank. Here, the watercourse is not just 11 meters deeper than the ground plane but there are many magnificent old buildings round about. This makes it a challenge to integrate the watercourse, which is 20 meters across. New functions sited along the watercourse usefully supplement the existing functions in the city and match the character of the city block. This means public functions, such as a partially sunken concert hall with an indoor parking facility. A square created at ground level accesses the concert hall and allows the watercourse to register at different levels.


In this project, different climate aspects have been combined into a single sustainable solution where water throughput and the new program are mutually strengthening. This gives a unique area with its own personality and identity, where the water on site can be experienced to the full.



copyright ArchitectuurLab