2012 Maarten HulsMaarten Huls - ROOM WITHOUT A CEILING
The former 'Vermicellifactory’ situated in the Grote Looiersgracht in the centre of Maastricht was forced to close. The old factory chimney keeps the memory of this place alive. This ‘secret-urban-room’, better known as ‘Bauduinterrein’ appears to be an island, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Maastricht. The world inside shows a sharp contrast with the commotion of the surrounding city and calls for a new function. In most cases, building plans would be carried out quickly for spaces like this in the heart of a city. The question is how in this situation an architectonic plan and a new function could make the unique qualities of this space apparent, and how it can give a new meaning to the city.
The design of a hospice was among other things chosen because of the contrasting qualities of this space with the city. By means of a soft, space creating architecture, this location will accept its new function and will provide the city with a place where one can have a dignified departure in the middle of society.
The title ‘Room without a ceiling’ does not only refer to the hortus conclusus or the enclosed garden, but also contains the symbols of the way to Hereafter. The design is based on the enclosed open space, the flower court, fully embraced by the living room, the hospice's beating heart. The living room is designed as an infinite amorphous form and contrasts sharply with the rooms underground. These underground rooms have been equipped to the bodily needs. Aboveground, in the green park like surroundings - the remaining area between the existing gardens and the amorphous form of the living room - the rooms for dying guests have been fitted in accurately. The guests can stay here in all peace and privacy.

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