Architecture lectures: Limburg Quarters

How architecture can define the feel of a city

30 November -1

During the COVID lockdowns, when the streets emptied, architecture was in the spotlight more than ever. We suddenly saw how the cities around us were and are being designed, how the urban fabric we take for granted is a matter of design. In the autumn, Bureau Europa organizes the Limburg Quarters lecture series, each evening with a different city as a case study.

The four Limburg cities from the Euregion are discussed in four lectures. Cities that have each implemented an extension or expansion based on their own vision, that want to make neighbourhoods more liveable, add more greenery to the city, or just want to make a cultural or historical identity visible. The existing context in which those changes had to take place, gave shape to the assignment and the designs, but how? How iconic have the new additions to Limburg cities become or will they eventually become? And what breeding groud does this provide for further growth, as city that's built but also lived?

The lectures take place at Bureau Europa, in Dutch. Tickets are available via the website for €4,- with a complimentary drink. If you have difficulty paying, other options are available. Please inform via

Lecture #1. The Arrest House in Roermond - double feature with artist Robert Glas
Wednesday 19 October, 5.30 pm

Prisons are not the nicest places in a city and the Roermond Arresthuis was no exception. But what to do with vacant heritage sites in the middle of the city center? Transform it, of course. Van der Valk Hotels immediately envisoned a 'themed hotel', a redevelopment would take place that returned the building to its original state and enriched it with seamlessly fitting extensions. Architect Maarten Engelman (Engelman Architecten) speaks.

Robert Glas recreated one of the cells designed by architect Carel Weeber for De Schie penitentiary. In an uncomfortable film, Glas brings together the elderly architect and an ex-convict who had to live in Weeber's cell. Glas questions our (dis)comfort with imprisonment and the confinement of a person's freedom of movement within four walls.

Lecture #2. The Roman Museum in Heerlen
Wednesday 2 November, 5.30 pm

In Heerlen, the Roman past is getting more attention. New, interactive exhibitions at the Thermenmuseum present Coriovallum more beautifully than ever. But the building itself leaves much to be desired. The remains of the oldest stone structure in the Netherlands are hardly protected by it. Time for a new shell around the bathhouse. Architect Dirk Jan Postel (Kraaijvanger Architects) talks about their eye-catching design for the new Roman Museum.

With commenter Benoît Mater of Roman Museum Heerlen.

Lezing #3. The Blauwe Loper in Maastricht
Wednesday 9 November, 5.30 pm

We all know the Groene Loper by now, but did you know that Maastricht will soon have a Blauwe Loper as well? Extensive urban development will take place in the Mariaberg district, where Blauwdorp is located. A breakthrough will lead to restructuring, renewing the outdated housing situation and enriching the quality of life in the quaint little neighbourhood. Architect Franz Ziegler (Ziegler | Branderhorst) explains it to us.

Lecture #4. The Ligne in Sittard
Thursday 17 November, 5.30 pm

The intimate city center of Sittard is enclosed within the existing ramparts, outside of which are the firing fields: open spaces that gave the artillery a clear view of impending attacks. Historical heritage that gradually became part of allotments and buildings. But the development of the culture hub Ligne created the opportunity to restore these firing fields between the new building complexes and the old town. Landscape architect Lodewijk Baljon (Baljon Landscape Architects) explains how the city center of SIttard gained its park-like outer rim.

City archivist Peer Boselie will contextualise and comment on the designs.