Maankwartier – Heerlen's new neighbourhood

A brand-new neighbourhood is set to spring up where Heerlen railway station currently stands. Called the 'Maankwartier' (Moon Quarter), this will be a small town within a town, featuring shops and cafés, a hotel, offices, terraces and homes on various levels and – last but not least – a new station. A key component of the project is the 'plaat' (literally 'plate'), a mixture of bridge and building spanning the railway line and linking up the northern and southern parts of the town.

ProRail will be building the new station, while Bouwontwikkeling Jongen BV will be responsible for the Maankwartier. Machiels Building Solutions has been involved in designing this new neighbourhood from the outset, with sustainability and factors such as rail traffic, noise, vibrations and insulation given careful consideration during construction.

The 'plaat' poses particular challenges in addition to standard design requirements, including noiseproofing, vibration insulation and façade strength, given the risk of freight-transport explosions for instance.

The chosen solution is a lightweight façade using sustainably produced timber façade panels from Genk-based company Machiels Building Solutions. These panels are delivered prefabricated on a 'just in time' basis and assembled with no disruption to rail and bus traffic.