Lille (FR) - Special Mention


Team Representative: Clément Devignes (FR) – architect
Associates: Guillaume Anrys (BE), Dominique Lerche (FR), Antoine Muller (FR) – architects

47 rue Jean Prouvé, 59000 Lille (FR)
+33 752 677 257 – –

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D. Lerche, C. Devignes & G. Anrys


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1. How did you form the team for the competition?

It is the meeting of two young architecture practices; ‘atelier TAG’, ‘GUILLAUME ANRYS ARCHITECTE’ and one more architect, with the same ambition to work at the ‘European Metropolis of Lille’ scale. The team is composed of four architects Clément Devignes, Dominique Lerche, Guillaume Anrys et Antoine Muller. Our professional background allowed us to work in Lille (FR) but also Tournai (BE), Melbourne (AUS) and Rotterdam (NL). We wished to take advantage of our knowledge of the territory of Lille and our international experiences to take part in this competition. We develop a committed and responsible approach. Passionate by the urban universe, our ambition is to question the city and its processes of design.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?

In the context of the ‘Bois-Blancs’ island and the productive city, we chose to approach the subject by the culture instead of the productivity. We wish to propose a development of the city more in connection with its environment. URBAN CULTURE is the vision of the city and the cyclic and sustainable productivity, opposed to the linear and consumerist industrial model of the 19th and 20th century. It is a way to question the relation with the workplaces, the transmission of knowledge by art and crafts and the place of housing. The workplaces are redesigned, they are open, changeable and hybrid. But also, the housing which can also contain workspaces to favour the personal initiatives. As well as the public place between workplaces and housing, they are generous, fluid, widely opened favouring the exchanges, the meeting and the innovation. We created synergies in the neighbourhood.By joining the metropolitan territory made by sites of excellence, we propose that the ‘Bois-Blancs’ island becomes a site of excellence for the construction of the city of the 21st century. In connection with 'Euratechnologies' and the harbour of Lille, new places of researches and production are developed on 'Boschetti' site and new mixed architectural models between activities and housing on the site of 'Marx Dormoy' swimming pool.



3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

‘Bois-Blancs’ island is an area with a strong industrial heritage. Today, the activity of Lille harbour and 'Euratechnologies'; site of excellence for the digital entrepreneurs, are quite important. It was obvious that the subject of the productive city echoes there. The synergy of these activities with the development of the crafts allows to create a new site of excellence for the construction of the city of the 21th century in the metropolitan area. The neighbourhood has also a built heritage to value, which can support new activities.
'Marx Dormoy' swimming pool, on one side is a symbolic place for the city. The swimming pool activities disappear but we preserve its vocation of public place. It becomes a market, a platform of exchange connected to its new neighbourhood and to the city. 'Boschetti' site, on the other side, its former industrial site from the rich past of the district is transformed into a campus of research, innovation and education. It is a physical and a social link between the existing houses and the creative Halls. 



4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

We have not worked yet on the subject of the productive city in this way. However, we are used to question the subjects of activities, mixing and production with urban and architecture projects. We like to mix programs in our work because we became aware that the lifestyles evolve. The city has to be the support but also favours these changes. To develop the project, we used different references from the city of Lille heritage. So, the type ‘1930’ houses were a source of inspiration, this housing shaped the large-scale city. We propose their contemporary redesign as the type ‘2030’ houses. The big factories and their typical roofs, icons of the industrial heritage, allowed us to manage the large scale of the neighbourhood and the small unit of a house. Other references about the water or industrial production in cities of Amsterdam, Venice, New-York or Porto helped us develop the project.


5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?

Besides a phasing of the operation, we think that the program and the different scales of ideas introduce the dialogue with all the actors and the inhabitants. The ideas open the field of possibilities and install the foundation for a dialogue. The proposed constructions are hybrid and have a large flexibility. Just like the industrial constructions of the 19th and 20th century, their usages can evolve with the development and the future urban orientations. Each hybrid construction is an autonomous cell of an open system.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Indeed, this is the first time for us. We like Europan's idea to allow our young architectural practices to explore urban issues, to share our vision of the big scale and the evolution of the city. We think that the visibility offered by Europan as well as the meetings following the competition should be privileged moments. This will allow us to strengthen our knowledge of the subject and the neighbourhood. We wish that the ideas of URBAN CULTURE can become reality through the construction of public places or buildings.