Groene Loper – A2 Maastricht

Maastricht, NL

In Maastricht, the A2, a motorway that cut through the city for years, has been brought underground and the area on top of the tunnel has been transformed into a generous new public space: De Groene Loper (The Green Carpet). West 8 was responsible for the landscape and urban master plan, the public space design, and for the architectural supervision of the development of 1000 new dwellings alongside the Loper.

The tunnel brings major relief to the urban traffic system, liberating the city of noise, stench, and traffic nuisance. Together with the design for the Groene Loper – a park landscape of 2.3 kilometers – the project gives an important impulse to the development of the city and the well-being of its inhabitants.

To increase the project’s financial feasibility, West 8 proposed to build the tunnel in two layers, thus creating room for the development plots along the sides of the Groene Loper. These new homes also help to fulfill the current needs of the housing market in Maastricht.

Promenade plantée

The park was designed as a “promenade plantée”. Lime trees arranged in four to eight rows give it a generous and monumental character. Through the park runs a six-meter wide path for slow traffic: pedestrians, cyclists, and joggers. The materialization of the project is consistent and legible throughout the park. West 8 designed a custom set of street furniture: a lamppost, a bench, a water tap, and a bin.




The Groene Loper does not only connect the eastern and western parts of the city, it also reinforces the connection between the city and the countryside. A cycle bridge connects the northern historic country estates with the city. These new connections, together with its green character and the upcoming housing developments, have turned an urban ‘back’ into a new front. Disadvantaged neighborhoods are becoming popular living environments, boosting social cohesion and new urban developments.

Masterplan for 1000 new dwellings

The masterplan for the development areas creates 1000 new homes for different target groups. It heals the urban fabric and completes the connection between the Groene Loper and the surrounding parts of the city.

In June 2009, West 8 together with Humblé Architecten won the project competition as part of the consortium “Avenue2”. King Willem-Alexander opened the Groene Loper in 2018.

Photography by Aron Nijs

The Groene Loper before and after. Renovation of the monumental ‘Gemeenteflat’ by Humblé Martens en Willems Architecten.

Photo by Fred Berghmans

Photography: Jeroen Musch, Fred Berghmans, Aron Nijs


Consortium Avenue2 (Ballast Nedam, Strukton) and Projectbureau A2 (Rijkswaterstaat, Provincie Limburg, Gemeente Maastricht en Meerssen)


Ballast Nedam, Strukton, Arcadis, Humble Architecten, dGmR, in collaboration with Bex* Communication


European Property Award for Sustainable Residential Development | NCE Tunnelling Award Special Mention, UK