Please meet Marc Maurer and his wife Nicole Maurer principals of Maurer United Architects, who introduce themselves in the international architecture scene some 15 years ago by giving architectural shape to the world of graffiti through typographic spaces created in close collaboration with graffiti artists Zedz and Delta. In a follow up they designed together with 20 students of the Eindhoven University of Technology (most of them skaters) the MU Bowl: a wooden indoor skatepool that not only looked splendid but is a dream come true for any skater. And created in 2009 the Indemann, a 36 metre-high watchtower that looks like an enormous robot with a facade of 40.000 remotely controlled pixels that turn the building during the night into a beacon in the dark. Just to name a few projects. Early 2014 Boy Bastiaens was appointed to design a symbol which would tie all projects within the spectrum of diversity together and evoke immediately public recognition.
Starting point for the new Maurer United Architects symbol is a bold minimalist letter 'M' build up by 3 piles of bricks in a direct visual link to the German translation of the name 'Maurer' which means 'bricklayer' or 'mason. The bricks are joined into a single entity which makes the arrangement standing for the term ‘United’ as well.
The abstract ‘M‘ monogram can also perceived as the top view of an urban plan section: a set of rectangular shapes that traditionally define street grids and tower blocks in urban planning systems. Like for example in the giant pull-out maps of the monumental six volume proposed 1969 Master Plan for the city of New York.
In a second visual association to the word ‘Architects’ the symbol can be considered as the facade of a building: the most common view and important aspect from a design standpoint used to describe the external appearance of a building. However the practise operates in fields that not always belong to the standard architect's repertoire.
Since Maurer United Architects is one of the few Dutch ‘Creative Labs’ that has been known for investigating and redefining the borders of architecture, resulting into pioneering cross-over projects towards the fields of design and e-culture on various scales. It’s the diversity in exceptional work which makes them standing out.
Photo of Marc & Nicole Maurer by Perry Schrijvers