Koningin Julianaplein Vaals, Netherlands

The redesign of the public spaces around Koningin Julianaplein aims to strengthen the spatial relation between the city hall ‘Gemeentehuis’ and its surrounding shopping street and market square. By assigning unique design theme to individual spaces, an interesting sequence of public squares has been created.

Drawing reference to the industrial past of the site, more specifically to the historic Clermont Cloth Factory, which was later converted to city hall, an overarching Theme of ‘fabric’ has been adopted. The notion has been incorporated in the design through paving inlays and water basins.

Tyrellsestraat

The street Tyrellsestraat directs the people from Maastrichterlaan to the new urban quarter. The wide sidewalks, made of concrete panels, provide ample space for strolling as well as outdoor seating or shop displays. The line of box shaped linden trees along the sidewalk creates a guiding effect. Under the tree canopy planting beds and areas for multiple activities i.e., seating, playing, bike parking has been incorporated. The garden like character of this space creates a nice contrast to the urban surrounding. The row of pole lights demarcates the pedestrian and vehicular zone.

Market square

A newly constructed building surrounds the market square from two sides and gives it a clear spatial definition. The design envisages an open and multifunctional square or a ‘carpet’, which fits into the overarching theme of the fabric. A paving inlay on the ground demarcates the ‘carpet’, whereas the paving pattern reflects the fabric structure. Additionally, the carpet is complemented with a dry fountain and a picturesque solitary tree.

Cloth Terrace

The area between the new building and the city hall receives the theme of the ‘cloth terrace’. The area protrudes slightly from the current sloping topography and can be accessed both barrier-free and through steps.

Dye Basin

The ‘dye basin’ is situated in the U-shaped inner courtyard and is surrounded by the historical facades of city hall. In reference to the Clermont cloth factory, known primarily for its green and red fabrics, a cloth in the red “dyeing liquid” has been placed here. A wavy perforated metal sheet painted in red represents the ‘cloth’. Air bubbles emerging through the holes of the metal sheet, creates a sparkling effect in the water basin.

Clermont garden

The Clermont Garden distances itself from the busy sequence of squares. It serves as a green oasis and a quiet retreat in the otherwise urban new center. The arrangement of the planting beds is reminiscent of clothes drying in a row. The flower beds, comfortable wooden benches with backrest, and the shallow water fountain made of natural stone provide a meditative environment in the garden.

This project has been awarded ‘Deutscher Landschaftsarchitektur-Preis 2019’ under the international project category.

Project location: Von Clermontplein 15, 6291 AT Vaals, Netherlands

Design year: 2013-2016

Year Built: 2017

 

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