Unrealised. Never Built Maastricht

15 December 2017 till 15 April 2018

Why do architecturally ambitious projects sometimes stagnate? What factors affect the success or failure of urban plans? Unrealised. Never Built Maastricht looks at the complexity faced by urban designers, architects, landscape designers, politicians and project developers. In the interplay of city planning, policy papers, public opinion, economic climate, cultural zeitgeist, adaptive designers, Bureau Europa wants to advocate for the experimental. Referencing Schubert’s unfinished symphony, Bureau Europa investigates how Maastricht would look if some of its unsuccessful projects were realised.

The initiative, an exhibition of unrealised projects, takes a self-assured stance. Reviewing 70 years of past urban development can be confrontational exercise. There are plenty of ambitious projects – covering the Maas, the Calatrava Campus, and the Van den Ende Casino – that went beyond the drawing board but perished in the public domain.

Like any nascent historical record, the tendency of portraying the urbanisation of Maastricht is to describe it as an inevitable march from conservatism towards progress. But, upon further examination, one also encounters much-needed or ambitious ‘failed’ plans to improve the city, its urban life, its liveability, and its housing stock. Unlike speculative or utopian architecture – meant as social critique or to stimulate discipline-specific discourse – Unrealised is about projects designed to be actually realised. Unrealised, Never Built Maastricht tells a complex history that could have gone many ways but is consolidated in the city as it is today.

For a special documentary we interviewed:
- Marc Maurer, architect
- Jo Coenen, architect en stedenbouwer
- Jake Wiersma
- Jacqueline Verhees
- Huub Smeets
- Hans Hoorn
- Guy Vloebergh
- Gerdo van Grootheest
- Tim Prins
- Mirjam Depondt
- Gerd Leers,
- Frits Palmboom
- Carola Janssen

Bureau Europa is examining this theme after an idea by Wido Smeets - editor-in-chief at Zuiderlucht, photographer Chris Keulen, and Wim Ortjens - communications director at the Municipality of Maastricht.

Remco Beckers - project leader Bureau Europa and Saskia van Stein - director Bureau Europa.

Visual identity:
Ivo Straetmans – Studio Noto

Spatial design:
Maurer United Architects

Exhibition: from 15 December 2017 to 15 April 2018
Admission: €5, students/school students €3, free for museum card holders
Location: Bureau Europa

The opening of Unrealised, Never-Built Maastricht - photos by Jonanthan Vos

The exhibition - photo's by Johannes Schwartz

Graphic identity - Studio Noto

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