On Friday the 20th of May, the first trees have been planted in the public space of the new residential area Lindenkruis in Maastricht. To immediately create the desired green image, the Wingnut, Pterocarya’s stenoptera trees have been planted in a firm size. The planting required extra care and attention because the trees are placed in a huge container on top of the underground parking garage. Proper preparation of the trees, application of the appropriate roof garden medium and a careful follow-up in the early years after planting have to ensure that the trees catch on quickly and can grow into iconic in the coming years trees for the new residential area.
The new residential area is build on a former utility terrain, a stone’s throw away from the Vrijthof in Maastricht. The developing parties, the WOM and the RO group have the ambition to generate a new residential area containing 175 new apartments, urban and patio homes, located on intimate courtyards and beautiful squares. All this following the urban plan of AWG architects. The plan is part of the Belvedere in Maastricht and the situated in the late medieval shell of the city of Maastricht. The area includes some cultural and historical valuable elements and patterns, including among others, the former fire complex, but also the route of the 2nd enclosure and the former Lindenkruispoort.
In 2007 MTD landscape architects / urban designers received the commission to design a public space development plan based on the urban design and accompanied image quality vision for the Lindenkruis (AWG architects i.c.w. MTD landscape architects / urban designers; 2008). The public space forms an important guarantee for cohesion during the phased development of the area. A distinction is made between the city streets or the edges of the plan and the interior. The interior of the plan gets a unique atmosphere; it follows the idea that the rule here is to stay and wander. For this reason the public space has been designed as one continuous floor. The material, a natural stone tile dimensioned 0:20 x 0:20 in a diagonal block pattern, is materialized as one single carpet. The courtyard forms the heart of the plan and functions as a key identifier of the neighborhood. This is where the pedestrian entrance to the actual parking garage under the area is located. The pavement of the courtyard is differentiated; it is rotated 90° and the natural stone tiles have been given a special treatment. Around the inner square the surrounding streets of the neighborhood have been placed in a wind mill pattern and are kept free of unnecessary obstructions as far as possible. The only detail in the streets are the line-shaped dewatering gutters which are placed slightly recessed in the profile.
The courtyard and the small squares on the crossings of the streets, generate their own use by their specific location, decor and atmosphere. Here in raised planters, iconic multi-stemmed trees have been introduced. The boundary partitions and especially the partitions of the gardens around the square and the back yards facing the streets, are used as an important green quality in the plan. On numerous places inner worlds are created formed by backyards; enclosed by semi-private trails accessible by gates. The trails are bordered by privet hedges and often open up to a small square with a multi-stemmed shrub in an elevated tree planter.