City Inn Ald Weishoès – This coming year, the building will undergo large-scale renovations and refurbishments so it will be able to host a variety of different activities. The building has been playing a role as community centre since the 1960s. From September 2022 onwards it will also have student accommodations, a catering section, and lodgings under its new name ‘Stadsherberg Ald Weishoèrs’ (City Inn Ald Weishoès). The building’s centre courtyard will have its roof removed so it can once more be a true outdoor area with lots of room for greenery. The front courtyard near the historic façade offers room for greenery too and so it will be able to create a connection with the centre courtyard.
The building at Grote Kerkstraat 31 in Venlo is called the ‘Als Weishoès’ (Old Orphanage) by the locals. It was built in the 1930s, using parts of the old façades (and cellars) from 1611. The building can be found in the medieval city centre of Venlo, opposite the ‘Martinusbasiliek’ (St. Martin’s Basilica). The front entrance, or front courtyard, will be the focus point for ‘Nieuwe Uitzichten’ (New Views): the space between the 1611 façade and the low brick-and-mortar wall with ornamental ironwork at the side of the Grote Kerkstraat.
Its location on a route through the city centre which is used a lot by both cyclists and pedestrians.
Its location near hiking routes, including the pilgrimage route the ‘Pieterpad’.
The medieval façade is one of the most photographed façades of Venlo.
The building has a rich history.
The intensive new use of the building as a community accommodation with catering, lodgings, and room for students.
The return of the centre courtyard with lots of greenery.
The National Monument is impressive and surprising.
Connection with the ‘Kerkepöärtje’ (Little Church Gate) opposite with its route to the Rosarium (rose garden) as an alternative pathway.
Because of the National Monument’s closed nature, despite its public functions, we see the opportunity of showing the monument’s and its courtyard’s qualities as a real challenge. We see a lead role in this for the front courtyard. The specific assignment is to give the front courtyard a public function and hereby making it easier for people to enter the building itself too.
There are plenty of photographs and documents about the building and we are more than happy to share these. We have already included a selection of images we think are relevant for the project on the following pages.
Marco Baetsen – Project leader Antares (housing corporation)
Joost Reijnen – Architect