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Koningin Julianaplein, Vaals (NL)

Koningin Julianaplein Masterplanning and urban design, Vaals (NL) Design Coenen Sättele Architects: 2011-2016 Completed: 2016 Client: Gemeente Vaals,...


Koningin Julianaplein

Masterplanning and urban design, Vaals (NL)

The project

Vaals, a municipality with a population of 10.000, which is best known for the three countries point where the borders of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands meet. In addition, the three countries point 323m above sea level, the highest point in the Netherlands is a major tourist attraction that attracts 800.000 visitors annually. The lower situated, interesting historical center, however, is unknown to many and not benefiting from this public interest. Vaals via the Maastrichterlaan, the commercial with retail and catering spine(backbone) of the town, directly connected to Aachen, regards itself as a little sister of Aachen. The present Town Hall, in the past called Stammhaus and by the end of the 18th century, a fabric factory, together with the Kopermolen and the Clermontplein form the historic core of Vaals. In the 60’s of the last century on the north side of the town hall around the Queen Juliana square social housing was added, which served at the same time as the connection towards the Maastrichterlaan.The Queen Juliane square itself was used during this period mainly as a parking lot.

The desire of the community Vaals to have a characteristic central square and the fact that the social housing no longer met the needs of the times, offering the opportunity to redesign and revitalize the Queen Juliana place on the basis of a new urban master plan with new residential buildings, of the residential cooperation, which offer as well new areas for retail functions and restaurants. The new urban qualities enable the Queen Juliana square to become as an attractive location the new heart of Vaals and in this way to attract also more visitors and tourists.

The development of a synthesis and connection between the Maastrichterlaan, the historic center and the urban planning of the 60s and later, were the definition of the task for the urban master plan and the linked image quality plan developed by Coenen Sättele Architecten. Master plan and image quality plan describing urban contours, design prerequisites and qualities as guidelines for planning and developing projects. Meanwhile, the implementation of the Master Plan Queen Juliana square is complete.