Formations is an ongoing design research into a type of sandstone, called mergel, that is found in the South of the Netherlands. For centuries it was used for masonry construction until it became a raw material for cement production. Today only one artisanal quarry remains open and is predominantly used for restaurantion works. Mergel is rarely, if ever, used in a more reflective contemporary manner. In collaboration with Fer Rouwet, the oldest active miner of mergel in the Netherlands we’ve been seeking to reappraise mergel as a construction material in its own right.


Mergel quarries form hunderds of kilometers of underground pathways.

The proposal envisions a network of above ground pavilions that demarcates the underground territory of the geological formation where mergel is excavated: the Maastrichtiën . The design seeks to emphasise the spatial qualities of the underground mines and specific material qualities of mergel.

In collaboration with: Stimuleringsfonds, Mergel Rouwet B.V.

Client: Stimuleringsfonds

Location: Zuid-Limburg, The Netherlands

Status: Site Selection