Huy (BE)

Data

Project Scales L/S - urban and architectural

Location Huy, Sainte Catherine district

Population 21,208 inhab.

Strategic site 11 ha – Project site 1.51 ha

Site proposed by City of Huy

Actors involved City of Huy & Regional Huy Hospital Center (CHRH)

Owner of the site Regional Huy Hospital Center (CHRH)

Post-competition phase Urban study to be carried out of partial realization of the project following the relevance of the proposals.

Team representative architect, uban planner, lanscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to the productive city?

Descending from Condroz, the Hoyoux River flows into the Meuse River at Huy. Since the Middles Ages, the valley has welcomed numerous artisans using the river’s hydraulic power. Metallurgical and paper industries developed in the 19th century along the river which was then lined with a railway line and national highway. With the deindustrialisation, the neighbourhood of brownfields and working-class dwellings has been forgotten. The establishment of the hospital has given it some momentum. The creation of an activity center combining housing, shops, offices and economic activities of production and services on this "site to be redeveloped" must reinforce the economic vitality of this forgotten area.

City strategy

At the intersection of the Meuse River and the road linking the Hesbaye agricultural zone to the Condroz woodlands and pastures and other Ardennes forests, the city of Huy has been a regional hub since Roman times. In the 1960’s, the city-centre was disfigured by the creation of the “Huy inroad” This urban scar is now healed. While the city is currently developing long the Meuse between the new bridge to the west and the nuclear power plant to the east, local authorities want to revitalize the north-south connection. The Sainte Catherine district, in the south of the old centre, is decaying, following the abandonment of industrial activities. The objective is to make it an attractive activity hub at the entrance to the city.

Site definition 

The Saint Catherine district occupies the bottom of the Hoyoux valley whose slopes remain wooded. To the north, the Huy hospital has been renovated and enlarged. The place des Italiens square and the railway viaduct constitute the southern entrance of the city coming from the Condroz. From the west, the railway and the National road. A nursing home project will soon begin to the east of the strategic site. The project site will house the Thiry workshops, which specialize in the production of machines for industrial paper. Most farm buildings have been demolished with the exception of a few buildings, including the old industrial hall stretching along the national road. The land is now being used as a temporary parking lot for the hospital.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

The program envisages the completion of a multi-functional centre incorporating housing, shops, offices and business premises. The hospital will soon be completed to the east of the strategic site by a 121-bed nursing and care home, with a daily care centre and a 20-unit serviced residence. In view of these health infrastructures, the option envisaged is to host paramedical activities: specialized medical centres, premises for health care providers, medical analysis laboratories, etc. Workshops for the manufacture and sale of medical supplies would complement this offer.
For a long time, it was made up of working-class dwellings, the housing of the district diversified thanks to renovations and new constructions in progress. A real estate complex to the southeast of the strategic site, currently stalled, will probably reinforce this trend. Complementary to the new cluster, the supply of large dwellings on the project site will contribute to social diversity. Given the proximity of the regional slow lane on the old railway linking the banks of the Meuse, activities around soft mobility are also envisaged. Finally, the green and blue flows of the Hoyoux valley bring an environmental dimension to the project. The large flow of the river allows for the production of hydraulic power.

Aerial view of the strategic site
Hand regulation of the Hoyoux River

 

The Hoyoux River
Temporary parking lot for the hospital

 

Questions on the site

Could we ask for a map of the site and strategic area with the levels (topographic levels) AutoCAD / DWG ?

We have deposited the useful computer files concerning the city of Huy in the folder "0-New -docs-after-launch" on the FTP site of Europan. As regards the topography, you can consider the site as flat at the study site, as at the project site level. At the level of the competition of ideas that Europan is, the approximation is ample enough.

Will there be any topographical infomation for us to look at the changes in site levels?

As already specified in our question site, the ground can be considered flat. The slopes of the valley of the river "Hoyoux" are to be considered as the direct environment of the site but on which no intervention can be envisaged there.

Is it possible to have the plans of the project next to the site?

Unfortunately, this is not possible because the planning permission has not yet been granted. It is expected to be granted at the end of April 2017 and the municipal authorities do not wish to disclose the plans at this point in time. The brochure published for the MIPIM does however make it possible to visualise the future building (please see the site visit report)

Is it possible to receive interior photographs or archive plans of existing buildings on the site ? Do you have historical photographs concerning the site and the company Thiry?

We do not have plans or interior photos of existing buildings. Given the dilapidated state of the buildings, their access is prohibited, and we can not provide interior photos. Nevertheless, we have uploaded 2 pictures found on the internet in the site file. We also invite you to consult the visit report of site where we provided some indications on the state of the buildings.
However, we remind that Europan is above all a competition of ideas, and that the approximations (surfaces, heights...) will be tolerated by the jury who will judge rather innovative ideas rather than precise reproductions of the buildings.

What about Thiry workshops? Should it be preserved or can be modified somehow? Are there any plans of this building available?

The buildings are in bad condition and some will be demolished. For more details, we invite you to consult the site visit report where we provided information on the state of the industrial buildings of the site. The city does not have the documents. For information, we also filed old views on the evolution of site constructs in the site folder.

Are there any indications to be observed regarding the number of apartments or the area to be devoted to the different activities (business, commerce or paramedical)?

There is no specific program defined at this moment. It should rather be a mixed project including housing, services and SMBs whose activities could be linked to the nearby hospital (paramedical, etc.) However, the municipal authorities are open to all proposals as this site is in fact an extension to the existing town. It should nonetheless be noted that the town has a rather sufficient number of schools. However, there is quite a strong demand for crèche places.

Could you confirm whether the proposed retirement home sits within the project site boundary. Could you please mark the approximate location on a site plan and confirm if it replaces any existing buildings.

The retirement home that will be built is not located in the Europan project site. The site of the retirement home is located to the east of the Europan project area, along St. Catherine Street. The existing building located along this road (outside the project site) will be demolished. Since the planning permission for the construction of the retirement home has just been granted, we have asked the City of Huy to provide us a site plan for these future buildings.  We will send you this document as soon as we receive it (you will be notified by e-mail).

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