Trillende lente

Heerlen, Netherlands

“TRILLENDE LENTE” (vibrant spring) is a mural painting covering entirely the Aurora building, an 18.000 square meters housing complex: the biggest one in the Limburg region, in the southern Netherlands.

Stichting Art Foundation, who is behind the initiative, is trying to eliminate the stigma from the depression caused by the mining industry collapse and the subsequent heroin flood aftermath during the 60s and 70s. This project is the latest flagship for the new direction that some of Heerlen’s relevant cultural agents are heading the city.

The project began in November 2017 and concluded in November 2021.
Boa Mistura held several neighbor meetings during 2018, to understand the context and develop different design options. Finally, in April 2019 they presented the concepts to the Aurora complex tenants, who discussed, voted, and approved the final one.

The artist collective led the execution between June and November 2021.
During all this time, Boa Mistura had the assistance of Botterweck, a local paint company, as well as thirteen people from the job placement program Weerk voor Heerlen and more than one hundred neighbors who volunteered during several open, participatory days.

The project is an initiative by Stichting Art Foundation, with the support from Wonen Limburg.


Heerlen is the second-largest city in the region of Limburg, in the southern Netherlands.
Thanks to the mining industry during the late XIX century, the town began to grow, attracting thousands of people looking for opportunities in the coal mines. But the golden Era faded out quickly during the late 50s, resulting in the closing of all the mines between 1965 and 1975. This economic crack sunk Heerlen in a deep crisis that later worsened due to the massive heroine arrival, destroying the city's social fabric.

Nowadays, the city looks to get rid of those dark years and reinvent itself through new approaches that can erase the stigma from the depression years.

From the neighbor engagement and citizen volunteering, this project aims to promote social values beyond art and create a new icon for Heerlen's new dawn.


During 2018 we conducted several discussion panels with the neighbors at the complex to understand the area’s context.

During these meetings, they pointed out the name of the own complex, Aurora, bonded to the new dawn where Heerlen is approaching.

After decades of economic prosperity, Heerlen suffered a significant crisis due to the collapse of the mining industry during the mid-60s.

Today, the city is working to reverse the inertia of years of depression.


“In every winter’s heart lives a vibrant spring.”  We chose this quote by the Lebanese poet Yibrán Jalil to wrap the whole complex and represent the relation between the past and present of the city of Heerlen.  The different chromatic palettes affect the typography throughout the building’s half a kilometer—warm colors on the exterior fade to a cold palette on the interior access corridors.  The proposal was approved in a neighbor meeting in April 2019.

Participatory execution

We carried out the execution between June and October 2021. We had a team of thirteen people from the insertion program “Weerk voor Heerlen” during four working months in 2021 and the help from volunteers from all over the city during a few participatory painting days.

Information and credits
  • 18.000 m2 peremeter intervention
  • Exterior coating on brick and concrete, and synthetic enamel on metal
  • Project conceived by Wonen Limburg, and Street Art Foundation
  • Financed by Wonen LimburgIba ParkstadStichting Art FoundationRabobankParkstad Limburg and la Ciudad de Heerlen
  • With the support of SikkensBotterweckMH RoadstylingBremanRD4Umabs 4.0Budget Home Store XXLAttenderYaskBalanz and Thibor
  • With the collaboration of Province of Limburg
  • Thanks to the Street Art Foundation team: Volmar Delheij, Peter Fransman, Lars De Kort, Lars Ickenroth and Fiedel van der Hijden for taking a bet on Urban Art as a catalyst for the social development
  • Thanks to the Wonen Limburg team: Marti Van Daam and Geer Peters, Twan Vincken, Monike Holtackeers, Roeland Cleuren, Petra Veenstra, Gaston Quaedvlieg and Helen Hillemans, for making it possible
  • Thanks to the Werk Voor Heerlen team: Thomas, Toon, Maria, Ritchenel, Robbert, Shawn, Bjorn, Abukar, Jeffrey and Kristel, for your commitment
  • Thanks to the Sikkens team, especially Stefan Marutiak
  • Thanks to Thomas, Jonathan, Misha and all the Botterweck team
  • Thanks to all the volunteers at OBVION
  • And finally, thanks to all the Aurora Complex residents. Especially to Tatjana, Omatje, Leo, Eric, Amanda, Diego, Sabra and Farida, Raymond, Ingrid, Sara, Maurice, Jordi and Mireya, Cheef, Lee and Bart, for being our family during all this adventure
  • Further information (in dutch) at
  • Execution team at Boa Mistura: Irene García, María Corrales, Javier Ballesteros and Gregorio Buendía
  • Execution assistants at Werk Voor Heerlen: Thomas, Toon, Maria, Ritchenel, Robbert, Shawn, Bjorn, Abukar, Jeffrey and Kristel
  • Video and Photography by Boa Mistura, Twan Vincken, Jonathan Widdershoven
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