Martens Willems & Humblé Architects designed a social housing residential block with retail within the protected townscape of Vaals. A small border town between The Netherlands and Germany. The building goes into a strong dialogue with its surroundings for a suitable architectural language.

Project Name -Julianaplein Vaals
Studio Name -Martens Willems & Humblé Architecten
Completion date– 2020
Building Level – 5
Location– Vaals, Limburg, Netherlands
Photography– Arjen Schmitz

Julianaplein Vaals by Martens Willems & Humblé Architecten - Sheet1
©Arjen Schmitz

The L-shaped residential defines a new square. The architectural ‘language’ speaks in the same staccato rhythm as the large monuments and the monumental houses a little further on, but also tells its own story, by consistently repeating a limited number of recurring architectural elements in the form of wall discs, large balconies, ornamental fences, chimneys and pylons.

The complex is located on an underground parking garage. Shops and restaurants are planned on the ground floor, some parts have a gallery. Living is organised on the floors. The project was built for a social housing company. All the apartments are very spacious and every room of the dwelling always has a view on the square.

Julianaplein Vaals by Martens Willems & Humblé Architecten - Sheet4
©Arjen Schmitz

The new block is characterised by a natural, yellow-brown hand-moulded brick, baked from nearby Maas clay. This provides a calm image next to the striking white town hall.

The art on the building is made by the local artist Jef Wishaupt


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