Bureau Europa is going on a journey! With a brand-new excursion program titled "Voyage Voyage Voyage," we seek out the undiscovered places with unique stories, the fringes of our environments and landscapes, the places you often pass by without notice. Right now, you may be a casual passerby, but soon you'll become an intentional explorer.

In a growing database of virtual excursions, city walks, guided tours, and special mental journeys, Bureau Europa invites you to open yourself to a new perspective on your surroundings. The outdoors serve as a starting point to absorb design, architecture, and culture at your own pace and discretion. From interventions to classic hikes, from podcasts to scripts - we offer it all on our website.

Especially in times of COVID-19, when our movements were restricted, travel and culture became more experimental: this online environment, with its photo albums and video stories, will inspire you in surprising ways and emphasize the boundlessness of our region.

Click on the bold titles below and discover the Voyages for yourself!

Voyage #16. Over Gevels en Glazeniers. De glasverhalen van Maastricht.

We often look through glass but seldom at it. While ubiquitous today, in the past, glass was rarely a building material. Historically, church windows conveyed our identity and moral codes. Today, the symbolic depth of glass reflects our health, privacy, and nature. A glass building can be present and indiscernible – its architecture materialises and disappears. This walk guides you through Maastricht’s remarkable glass façades and vibrant stained-glass artworks, revealing the countless, captivating glass narratives woven into our city’s fabric.

Voyage #15. En Plein Public. Maastricht's Street, Bridges and Squares

The monuments define the streets! This city walk introduces you to the well-trodden paths, bridges, and squares that narrate Maastricht’s rich past and shape its cityscape. Follow your feet and discover the streets that guide you. Walking through Maastricht, you’ll discover the stories behind its bridges, courtyards, and plazas and how they continue to inspire contemporary architecture. You’ll encounter new inner-city housing, historical streets, cul-de-sacs, unused squares, and heritage with potential. But how do we restore, preserve, and renovate such treasures? And how do Maastricht’s citizens feel about this? To address these questions, curator Remco Beckers of Bureau Europa and conservator Joes Minis of Centre Céramique have devised this walk specifically for the 2023 Maastricht Day of Architecture.

Voyage #14. Music makes people. The resounding architecture of Maastricht

In no Dutch city does music resound like in Maastricht, where Limburg’s music culture merges in its many forms, from the rich club scene to the opera, from swaying carnival crowds to waltzes on Vrijthof square, from popular theatre to religious liturgy.

Music infuses the city, its streets, and its edifices. Architecture takes centre stage, from its masterpieces such as the carillon, church organs, old theatres, and modern music venues, to the invisible traces that notes have left behind in the city’s rich and varied urban tapestry.

Maastricht pours forth with sounds and tunes, and those who play, and those who make, and those who love the music. Indulge yourself and enjoy the sights on this walk, made for the exhibition Frozen Music at Bureau Europa.

Voyage #13. The River. Discover the water in the city

The Meuse River (Dutch: de Maas) is the heart of the city of Maastricht, it gave the city its name and influences it in more ways than you know. Maastricht was founded where the Jeker meets the Maas. The Romans built a castrum and later a bridge at this ford, they named it Traiectum ad Mosa, “crossing place at the Maas”. For the longest time Maastricht was a city over the Maas rather than along or by the river. The Maas was just a waterway and high walls delimited the riverbanks, making it impossible for the local population to walk by the river or to even spot it.

The current access to the riverbanks is as recent as the late 1990s when architect Jo Coenen designed a masterplan for the whole riverbank, organising the infrastructure in such a way that people could have more direct interactions with the Maas for the first time in the city’s 2000-year-old history. The river and the canals around the city shaped much of the city’s infrastructure and led to the creation of surprising places in the urban landscape. This tour invites you to follow the water and let it guide you to unexpected places. Through local stories and anecdotes, discover how the Maastricht community lives with its river.

Voyage #12. In case of emergency!

Maastricht has a history of concealing, hiding and refuge, from medieval city walls to the later fortifications. These structures have defined the cityscape for centuries. Some have only been open to the public for the past decade.

Air-raid shelters, bunkers, lookouts and tunnels remain hidden from us. During the Second World War, a robust underground infrastructure of shelters was established, both for people and world-famous works of art. During the threats of the Cold War, the Civil Defence (Bescherming Bevolking, or BB) made preparations in the city. After all, you never know when an emergency might come knocking.

In Jo Coenen’s footsteps

Jo Coenen was born in Heerlen and enjoys great fame and appreciation in Maastricht. No wonder, given his influence and impact runs like a cross-section through the city.

After graduating from TU Eindhoven in 1975, several studies with Rob Krier in Vienna, James Stirling and Oswald Mathias Ungers in Dusseldorf, and work experiences with Luigi Snozzi and Aldo van Eijck, Coenen provides a new vision for the university campus in the centre of Maastricht and Maastricht as a whole, ranging from his design for the Maas Offices in the north to his planning of the Céramique district in the south.

This challenge boils down to mindset. Maastricht’s old centre and lifestyle proudly value tradition, and significant changes engender resistance. Coenen distils the city’s history into a vital lesson whereby your design practice should cherish the past, guarantee continuity, and love your city.