Frontensingel street view

overview of masterplan

courtyard view

floor plan +3

functional and climatical buffer zone, section


Client : Municipality of Maastricht /
ING Real Estate / BPF Bouwinvest
Site : Maastricht (1,5 ha)
Programme : 46 apartments (6.000 m2)
Type : competition

The old Sphinx factory grounds in Maastricht are being developed into a new housing area. The site is bordered by the busy Frontensingel, which produces an amount of noise that far exceeds the levels allowed for building housing. The competition brief asks for solutions to that problem which has not been taken into account in the existing urban plan.
NEZU AYMO architects present a plan which makes it possible to build high quality housing along the Frontensingel and at the same time removes the design restrictions on the housing to be built further inside the Sphinxkwartier. Along the busy road, we suggest a long bar which connects the four blocks of the study area, sheltering the rest of the Sphinxkwartier. The side of the bar facing the Frontensingel contains the circulation, but it also functions as a climatical and functional buffer. Behind the glazed facade, the conditions exist for a micro climate to generate, giving the buffer zone the character of a vertical orangery. Suspended inside this green glass volume are a number of small private spaces - back pockets - which work as extensions to the apartments and offer a view to the West across the traffic road.
All the apartments in the bar are facing the quiet interior courtyard with wide balconies on a stepped zigzag facade which ensures optimal orientation and maximum entrance of sunlight to the dwellings. The courtyard block is completed by the existing Brikkengebouw, which is extended, opened up to the daylight and fitted with large loggias in alternating patterns on each floor. With the starting point in a traffic noise problem and an existing masterplan, Maasbar creates a broad variety of apartment types and living conditions. It suggests a living environment with the focus on outdoor life when the weather allows it and bringing nature and a maximum amount of daylight into the dwellings all year round.