At the beginning of the 19th century work started on Maastricht’s inner-harbour ‘Het Bassin’ and the “Zuid-Willems Vaart” – canal in a district that soon came to be be known as the ‘Sphinxkwartier’. Not too long after, construction began on buildings that were to provide Maastricht’s ever-expanding “De Sphinx”-glass and earthenware factory with much-needed storehouses and depots. Now, with the earthenware industry long gone from the ‘Spinxkwartier’, these gorgeous industrial buildings are gradually being refurbished and given new life.
Both a strong whiff of history and a sense of exciting things still to come provide the Sphinx-district, and Lumière in specific, with its unique charm.
Remnants of the district’s industrial past will, for example, still be visible in the interior designs of the Sphinx-factory’s former power plant-building, that will now be used to house Lumière’s new bar and restaurant.
The new Lumière will be part of a series of district-wide renovations. The local infrastructure will be given a much-needed overhaul with expected adjustments to the highway bridge over the Maas river and the creation of a new tram route between Maastricht and the Belgian city of Hasselt. The development of new residential apartments and a shopping centre, a planned expansion of the ‘Muziekgieterij’-concert venue and the new United Nations University openings its doors in 2015, will turn the Sphinx-district into a vibrant new place to live, study and enjoy a cultured night out.