This 1.850 m2 office is a headquarters for numerous waterway controls formerly dispersed along a large section of the river Meuse. The combination of these previously scattered control centers determined the office’s curvilinear volume, from which barges are guided throughout the surrounding river, canals, locks, and sluices. In addition to the spaces for waterway control, the office also contains a nautical training facility and educational center–both of which are open to tourists and area residents–while a roof terrace offers panoramic views to the surrounding countryside. The upper volume cantilevers up to 10 m beyond the plinth, above a reflecting pool below, through which there are two paths that lead to the ground floor, and a bike ramp that leads to the lower level; employees and visitors utilize separate entries, while the bike path is not publicly accessible. The office’s employees have been elevated to the upper level, in order to maintain an overview of their respective water management areas, even though these waterways are now digitally controlled–which physically removes these employees from the direct context they monitor, while simultaneously allowing them to maintain their connection to it. The underside of the cantilevered upper story is finished in silkscreened black glass, and this amplifies light reflected from the water that surrounds the office’s lower level–filled with lotus flowers–which during winter is able to function as an area for ice-skating.
6411 HD Maasbracht
Date of design
Date of completion
Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Julius Klatte, Harold Hermans, Rob Willemse
Jochem Homminga, Natali Gagro, Christina Lotzemer-Jentges
Palte BV, Wetering Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV