The Luikerweg staircase is a milestone in the gradual transformation and reclamation of the first and only cement quarry in the Netherlands. In 2017, after more than a hundred years of excavation, the quarry was made accessible to the public and will be managed as a natural reserve.
The design forms a scenic route that starts on the plateau of Mount St. Pieter and gradually reveals the quarry, which has been coined a hidden valley. Two concrete walls guide the visitors through a boundary of vegetation and lead up to a panoramic viewpoint. Here a sublime man-made landscape is revealed, with steep cliffs that are unique and unexpected in the otherwise flat landscape of the Netherlands.
The stairs then descend 50m down into the quarry, forming a geological route. Resting stops are subtly aligned with stratigraphical transitions marking major geological events in the history of the earth. The platform is symbolically aligned with the old road that used to connect Maastricht to Liège: the Luikerweg. When the reclamation is completed the connection between the Netherlands and Belgium will also be restored.
TITLE: Luikerweg viewpoint and stairs
PROGRAM: Viewing point and stairs
LOCATION: Maastricht, The Netherlands
CLIENT: Stichting Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij ENCi gebied