Euratechnologies Lille

Location: Lille, France
Designer: BROSSY & Associés
Project: EuraTechnologies
Time of construction: completed 2009
Client: Communauté Urbaine de Lille
Local Associates: SAS MIZRAHI, BET TCE
Steel profiles for façades : Sistema Stabalux, Palladio SpA, Treviso, Italia
Photographs: BROSSY & Associés
As part of the establishment of the EuraTechnologie centre, the restructuring of the industrial archaeology buildings in the Le Blan-Lafont complex

is a challenge for the revival of the entire urban strip along the banks of the river Deûle, not far from the city of Lille.
The project is ambitious and includes – in addition to the economic activities linked mainly to communication and information technologies – recreational and commercial areas, cultural centres, service industry areas and offices, as well as a residential quarter, over a total of more than a hundred hectares of land.
The urban organisation of the settlement recaptures and reinterprets the philosophy of the historical garden-cities, areas where the relationship between buildings and the nature around them became essential and inescapable.
The operational strategy for the restoration of the buildings focuses particularly on recapturing some elements of the typical architectural language of the industrial historical world of spinning: the majestic work spaces, the airiness of the double height halls, eliminating – sometimes – those components that had, in time, built up and that were working against the overall interpretation of the historical complex.
Bricks, steel and glass are the building materials used: the large windows have kept their original form of lines in light filigree, distinguished by fine, but highly resistant, frames.
The large walls reach heights of around twenty metres, and consequently the panes of glass they have to hold are a considerable weight. The uprights used for the walls and for the main frame of the glass roof are made of special steel tubes, distinguished by a central groove – known as a “swallows tail”- which, as well as making the section stronger, forms the natural and practical housing in the assembly stages on the construction site for the seals that separate the glass from the steel upright structures and the fixing screws. This will result in a reduction in assembly time, which means that highly specialised labour need not be used for such operations and there is the potential of intensifying the number of closure points along the whole groove if need be. Such features work together to result in fast and safe management of construction site operations that, due to the considerable dimensions of the walls and glass roofs, could have needed several additional delicate stages which would have been difficult to put into practice.

Marina Cescon
Acciaio Arte Architettura 39