On August 22, the aldermen Angely Waajen-Crins, Rens Evers and Ferdinand Pleyte gave the go-ahead for the redesign of the Munsterplein, the Abbey Garden and the Abbey Court in the center of Roermond. The historic square and the surroundings of the Munsterkerk with gardens and courts form the heart of the city center and will be redesigned in phases. The historic character of the square is hereby preserved and strengthened and, on the other hand, contemporary objectives of greening and climate adaptation are integrated into the design.
MTD landscape architects was commissioned in 2018 to prepare a layout plan for Munsterplein, Abdijtuin and Abdijhof in the center of Roermond. After an intensive participation process with retailers, catering entrepreneurs and local residents, a design was drawn up from "facade to facade". The first phase of this development plan; of the 'forecourt' of the Munsterkerk with the monumental kiosk, is now being tackled. Hereby the old Swedish granite boulders are reused; they are sawn and "burned" for better walkability.
Improving the walkability of the square was one of the objectives of the redesign that the municipal council had been given. At the same time, the meetings with the sounding board group showed that great importance was attached to maintaining and reinforcing the cultural-historical character of the square.
Both objectives could be met by an improved foundation, the application of modern street techniques and the mentioned treatment of the boulders. This was also tested and assessed in advance with test strips.
When re-paving the granite boulders, an improved joint filling was chosen, which is more resistant to the intensive use and management of the square and, moreover, is permeable to water. This is important for both the monumental trees around the square, as well as to prevent overloading the sewers after a heavy rain shower.
In addition to the square, the Abbey Garden will also be renovated in the first phase and will be provided with a broad staircase that will strengthen the spatial coherence with the square. This sunken garden makes the medieval period of the monastery garden, at the time of the Munster Abbey, visible on the square. The planting assortment therefore consists of, among other things, scented and authentic herbs and flowers.
The desired greening of the square is achieved by the construction of a city park on the north side of the church, where the cemetery was originally located. Here large green spaces are introduced with perennials and new trees to be planted. This creates a quiet and green residential area, where visitors to the center of Roermond can relax and enjoy the plants against the backdrop of the church. The Abbey Court is also being greened and attractively decorated, so that this area can function as a connecting route between the shopping streets and Munsterplein.
The elaboration of the design plan for Munsterplein, Abdijtuin and Abdijhof was developed in a construction team, which includes MTD landscape architects, the municipality of Roermond, BLM (contractor) and Kragten (technology).
The completion of the first phase of the redesign is intended before the festive activities on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Munster Abbey in 2020.