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Marl breakfast
Marl breakfast

Marl breakfast
Marl breakfast

Map of planning area with route (brown) and concrete structure (black)
Map of planning area with route (brown) and concrete structure (black)

Column reinforcement weak column + concrete shell – hewn-out mass = marl chamber
Column reinforcement weak column + concrete shell – hewn-out mass = marl chamber

Section
Section

Swimming pool platform
Swimming pool platform

Marl chamber
Marl chamber

Marl chamber
Marl chamber

Art corridors
Art corridors

Suspension bridge
Suspension bridge




PROJECTINDEX
WINNER
MARLNUTRITION
Amsterdam University of the Arts
ARCHITECTURE

A stable Dutch hill in the making
After centuries of breaking blocks and quarrying, the reclamation of marl in St Pietersberg, a hill south of Maastricht in Limburg, has come to an end. The cement works has closed down.
This proposal opens up new prospects for the hill. By strengthening the weak columns of marl, the unstable network of tunnels and the edge of the open quarry can finally become public domain. These interventions prevent the hill from collapsing. The threatened landscape is retained and given a new life of leisure.
The concrete reinforcement is shaped in such a way as to make space for places where hill walkers can spend the night. These overnight spots are joined by a restaurant created in the open quarry. Its dishes are made up of regional products such as mushrooms and artichokes from the tunnels and grapes from the surrounding hills. Shafts for air and light connect the world below with the world above.
At a point where the quarry billows in the north-east, the cement works will cut a last, south-facing platform. At its centre is an open-air swimming pool, filled with water from the cascades from the marlstone walls and warmed by the heat from the walls. Some of the water flows on in the underground passages. Stairs connect the platform with the open quarry where one can swim in the new marlstone lake. The contrasts between the network of tunnels and the open quarry - inside-outside, dark-light, damp-dry, closed-open, warm-cold - are most apparent here.
Vertical hollows that have become filled with loose material are dug free and strengthened to form vertical accesses between the tunnels and the ground plane. Sculptors from the neighbouring centre for art and culture then have several of these columns at their disposal to work on. Light beams, or solar tubes, lead tourists from one column to the next. A 50-metre-long suspended bridge extends from these 'art corridors' to the art centre, housed in a former cement works building. An old supply and discharge shaft becomes a footbridge that connects the building to a landing stage for the tourist boat on the river Maas.
An underground route a kilometre long, extending from the endpoint of the Pieterpad walking route on top of the hill to the landing stage, threads the project's components together.
The cement works and the City of Maastricht are to join forces in financing the interventions and carrying them out. The factory's final job before closing is to supply the cement for the concrete necessary for the reinforcement. From then on, its employees will manage the hill.