Architect in the spotlight: Maurer United Architects

Maurer United Architects was founded by Marc Maurer and Nicole Maurer in 1998 and has won several awards and nominations. In 2015, the Maastricht based agency has grown into a professional team of technical and creative designers.

Maurer United Architects realizes projects in the field of architecture, design, media, interior design, urban design and repurposing on a small and large scale. The designs encourage social interaction and are realized in the Netherlands, Germany, USA and China.

In 2004, Maurer United Architects was commissioned by Wonen Limburg to build a new residential complex on the site of a former gas station. The multifunctional "Gezondheidshuys" provides 19 homes and three main tenants; a pharmacy, a general practice, a physiotherapist and a multidisciplinary team (speech therapy, occupational therapy etc.)

Each side of the complex gives a different impression, this was made possible by playing with orthogonal volumes on the one hand and several bonds on the other. The building connects two-storey terraced houses with an eight-storey apartment building from the 60s. The "Gezondheidshuys" gives fresh impetus to an existing neighbourhood. The smaller homes are all in brick. "In terms of materials, we wanted the building complex to adapt to the environment, hence we didn't choose a steel or concrete wall," said Nicole Maurer.

Choosing brick as a facade material is in line with the "spirit of the place" and the choice of the specific brick: the Nelissen Nitro in Baekel version (with a false joint in the middle on one side) makes the project unique, both on the urban design, as well as on the detail level.

"Brick Blockbuster"

The building has been nicknamed 'The Brick Blockbuster'. A self-invented term that refers to the design principles related to the interaction between big and small block volumes: the brick.

'Brick' speaks for itself and 'Blockbuster' comes from the film world. A 'Blockbuster' is used to denote a film with big stars in the lead role and which is expected to be a sensational success. Likewise, a comparison can be made with buildings in an urban environment. The realisation of the 'Gezondheidshuys' at Oude Akkerstraat in Weert is a valuable addition and a boost for the neighbourhood.

The design team of Maurer United Architects designed every detail of the 5 different building masses up to the bricks used, to realize a magnificent sculpture. The brick of choice for this project was the Nelissen Nitro, which was specially made in Baekel version. By showing the false joint at times and hiding it at others (by turning the brick), the illusion is given that different bonds were used. Several patterns of different types of bricks can be observed, which gives the building a different dimension from far away or from close by.