Lulu Song

Urban Architecture

OPEN HOUSE: Arts Centre and New Public Realm along the River Maas

Recent urban renewal projects in the city of Maastricht display an unsettling pattern of gentrification and commodification. The city centre is over-saturated with spaces for consumption but offers very little in the way of free-access public space, and as such, the paywall for experiencing the city excludes certain groups of people.

This graduation project, driven by the themes of inclusivity and spatial justice, is part of a collective urban masterplan that revitalises a derelict and underutilised stretch of Maastricht’s riverfront, creating a series of new, welcoming, public spaces along the water.

The building proposal is a public arts centre with artist ateliers, aimed at bridging art and society. The ambition for the project was to create an architecture that meshes seamlessly with the public realm, breaking down the conventional barriers between public and private. The result is a porous building that activates the outdoor public spaces surrounding it and feels open and accessible to all, true to the term Open House – by definition, ‘a place or situation in which all visitors are welcome’.