Mosae Forum, Maastricht

Mosae Forum – literally Market at the river Maas


If we look at public space and the influence of public space on city economics, its inner city is the engine. An engine that runs on direct accessibility because people should be able to get there by car and stay. This makes well thought-out parking facilities essential; for now and for the future.

The synergy between the Mosae Forum 4-level underground parking facility and a new tunnel running under the Maasboulevard constitutes a valuable and sustainable solution ensuring indispensable access to all inner city amenities.

Through traffic travels quickly and unhindered while the traffic entering and leaving the inner city via the underground car park flows in and out with ease.

Mosae Forum - linking old and new, land and water, under- and above ground

Market Square - car free

Maastricht has got its Market Square back and has gained an outstanding complex for working, shopping and living. This superb complex is situated at the site of the ancient Roman city gate that gave access to Mosae Trajectum, as Maastricht was called in those days.

Until recently the view of the splendid Market Square was polluted by parked cars. The typical Market Square atmosphere and the peace and quiet have now returned.

People can promenade, the sidewalk cafés invite visitors and the stallholders heave a sigh of relief. The inner city is bigger and now boarders on the river.

Focus on the river

To have this future focused complex fit perfectly into the authentic elements of the area, such as the ‘first arch’, city hall, vaulted cellars and other monuments, the history of Maastricht was a source of inspiration, not imitation, for Mosae Forum.

City hall and shopping area - connected with the river Maas

Mosae Forum is a combination of more than just new city council offices, an attractive shopping centre and an award winning car park. It links old and new, past and future, land with water, under-ground with above-ground and the community with its administrators.

International service area

Maastricht is a European, international city because of its location. If you draw a circle of 80 km you will encounter 8 universities, 7 million people, 6 airports and 5 countries.

The area served is large and multi-lingual; the inner city fulfils many different functions within just a few square kilometres. This means that a lot of traffic wants to reach and access the amenities.

Scale model of the PPP project

Total vision of a community

From day one the ambition of Mosae Forum was to encompass the entire inner city; Market Square, shopping infrastructure, Maas and the Maasboulevard, public transport and the tunnel. There was a clear need for a total vision for the entire inner city; the whole construction, the experience and its management.

Such a vision needs private investors and expertise, combined with public partners – the acceptance of PPP (Public Private Partnership) constructions. PPP enhances innovation and quality increases, just as the enthusiasm and commitment of all partners.

It is a challenge for everyone in a community to improve quality of life, safety, accessibility, quality of the public areas and economic support, and at the same time promote sustainable development and social commitment. In a PPP construction the public and private partners challenge each other’s limits and realise solutions that cross boundaries.

The total vision for Maastricht is designed to enable the flourishing inner city to function even better.

Public example; realising the tunnel was a specific challenge involving a substantial number of constraints and a range of legislation, including fire safety, escape routes, maximum loads, ventilation, emergency planning, evacuation and so on. This would not be possible without the contribution from the municipal staff.

Private example; Q-Park’s commitment as a private company contributing resources, sustainable development, confidence and flexibility is demonstrated in its willingness to demolish an existing profitable Q-Park parking facility in order to build an underground facility as part of the Maasboulevard project.

Quality space

Each addition should bring the city a rung higher on the ladder of quality and sustainability:

  • Make the city more spacious and improve quality;
  • Make space for people and link them to the river;
  • Create wide vistas by getting the traffic off the roads;
  • Strengthen society and economy with pedestrian routes.

People who work, shop and visit - feel comfortable and return - grant the right to exist. Ultimately they decide.

The space and the quality between the Market and the Maas offer excellent options for events and extensive shopping excursions. If people do not have to worry about their car and they can park near to their actual destination such as events, the shops, supermarket or city hall, their enjoyment will be all the greater and they will stay longer.

Mosae Forum - escalators

And if they have bought a lot or have heavy shopping, they can easily bring it back to their car and enjoy their day.

Mosae Forum - elevator

Technology & Creativity

It is remarkable that each function in the infrastructure – parking facility, tunnel and buildings – has its own technical installations for supply and waste, while the cables, pipes and shafts have been placed centrally and where possible out of sight.

The car park ventilation, for example, is mainly situated in the shafts themselves where enormous propellers do their work unseen. For the offices technique and technical areas have been placed above ground, integrated in the buildings.


At Mosae Forum, an area between the Market Square and the Maas were space is scarce, the underground area has been utilised and besides a 4-level underground parking facility the historical vaulted cellars were also included in the plan.

Maastricht is no stranger to underground facilities, after all the car park under the Vrijthof has been in use since the early 1970s. Underground facilities make economic sense for an inner city with limited space.

Four floors underground parking


Each year at least three million people use the Q-Park Mosae Forum parking facility. They visit the inner city from this parking facility, creating a natural and effective interaction between the city centre and the Mosae Forum complex.

Mosae Forum benefits from the inner city and vice versa.

Market Square - before Mosae Forum

Market Square - after Mosae Forum

Facts & Figures

  • First part openend July 2005, official opening 2007
  • Parking spaces: 1,150
  • Investment: EUR 36,3 million
  • Levels underground: 4
  • Open 24h/7
  • Staff present: 2
  • Linked to:
    • Big shopping centre
    • City councel offices
    • Parking guidance system
  • Customer convenience:
    • Elevator and escalators
    • Wide lanes
    • Column free parking
    • Disabled parking spaces
    • Angled parking spaces
  • Infrastructure: a tunnel under the Maasboulevard

Groundplan and lengthwise section of the Maasboulevard tunnel