La Minoterie / TANK Architectes

© Jean-Pierre Duplan
© Jean-Pierre Duplan

Architects: TANK Architectes / Olivier Camus & Lydéric Veauvy
Location: Roubaix, 59, France
Architect in Charge: Lucie Vandenbunder
Client: M. Rouar
Site area:1,972 sqm
Constructed area:4,900 sqm
Budget:$3,409,800 Euro
Project year:2008
Photographs: Jean-Pierre Duplan photograph

© Jean-Pierre Duplan © Jean-Pierre Duplan © Jean-Pierre Duplan © Jean-Pierre Duplan

The project deals about the rehabilitation of an old flour-mill and an industrial building in lofts along the canal of Roubaix. The structure was in very bad shape, and is now open to let the natural light enlighten the flats.

volumetric diagram 01
volumetric diagram 01
volumetric diagram 02
volumetric diagram 02
volumetric diagram 03
volumetric diagram 03

The project isn’t a single renovation but also questions the notion of accomodation and offers to each flat, an outside space, a loggia, a balcony or a terrace. The extension dropped on the roof creates terraces and offers outstanding views towards the town and the canal. The technical methods to restore the structure lead to a work on the brutality of material.

Cite: "La Minoterie / TANK Architectes" 05 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Bo

    I think its Parasite-building. But looks very curios.
    Serious: very nice integration of new and old, simple and clear!

  • novan

    looks like geometry alien invasion on the old building…nice combination anyway

  • Freg

    Great work by Tank,

    I live 15 km from that loft building.

    The building has been divided in 44 units.

    To have an idea of the price :

    - a unit of 104 m² with a loggia of 13 m² is around 136 000 €
    - a unit of 167 m² with a terrace of 146 m² is around 336 600 €

    Many units are still for sale, you can find some of theme here :

    You can find pictures taken during the rehabilitation here :

    See you :)

  • MZ

    Very creative, innovative an contextual way to deal with old substance. It achieves a new whole, without distroying the character of the old.

    In the everyday european architectural practice you allways have to deal with some kind of existing building: additions, renovations, and when nothing else, then you have an existing city-texture. Projects on empty green field are exeptions, thats why I find inspiring to see a good example of this kind.

    • panza


  • olivier

    Heureux de voir de belles chose dans le Nord de la France!

  • larry king

    trerrible house. nonsense architecture with arrogant integration and no respect. !!!

    • JP

      bla bla bla..

    • zoltan

      you are a true knower of contemporary architecture, i see…

    • Waela

      I couldn’t agree more. If I had done this in my basic design course, I think I would have been kicked out of architecture school!

      • pedro

        as you said, “in my basic design course”. i just presented it in my university, one of the best of Brazil,in a class of refurbishment and it was really well accepted.
        your text was full of preconception.
        this building is not something that you have to concervate. the architect judged it would be a good idea to keep the old facade but bringing it to nowadays.
        remember, it used to be an industrial and an old flour-mill building.

  • Dariusz

    love the penetrating nature of this building. Not often do you see exisiting situations that the buildings have to deal with.

    Nice !

  • Martin

    Oh wow, that really ruined it.

    Other than the fact it now looks like social housing, there’s nothing innovative in the plan or design.

    Random pockmark balconies, check.
    Recycled design, check.

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  • Shreyas

    At first glance, this looks like a good integration of the old and the new as someone has already said, but on closer observation it actually takes away the charm of the old brick structure; the balconies dominate too much…personally yours truly is for contemporary architecture and beyond, but this gives you the feeling of an ignorance for the old aesthetic.

    in short, too ‘heavy’ balconies ! ;)

  • Ralph Kent

    Shreyas – I can understand the point you are making, but equally, if you are going to put a balcony on a building, there’s no point unless its 2m / 6ft deep (Christopher Alexander – Pattern Language – and he’s totally correct on that one – it won’t be used). So that defines one of your horizontal axes. Obviously the architects wanted the impression to be the modern concrete slabs and cast walls penetrating the old warehouse, so that defines your balustrade widths and the balcony depth to ‘read’ across from the old. Now obviously all those are design decisions stemming from the new block, but given those parameters, the balconies were an ‘outcome’ as opposed to a willful design. I think I quite like this knitting approach. It may not be the most original, and I remain unconvinced about the standard ‘set back’ penthouse floor, but I’ve seen a lot worse version of ‘new into old’.

  • joninberlin

    I agree with ‘Larry King’ this is ‘nonsense and arrogant’ architecture with no regard for the existing context. This project is embarrassing!!!

    Regarding the statement from ‘MZ’: who refers to this as an “innovative way to deal with the old substance…without destroying the character of the old.” ARE YOU BLIND???!!!

    Not only is the project weak, and lacks the refined quality that successful projects posses, it also destroys the quality of a neighbouring building.

    The peculiar concept of ‘Parasite’ does not mean that the host building should look like its riddled with cancer.

    Architects need to place less energy on being bold. Instead, more energy should placed in considering the effects/scars their ‘bold’ ideas might have on the overall quality of the environment.

  • Salome

    Oh YUK!!! I definitely agree with Shreyas!
    Where is the sensitivity?

  • mario bijou

    —> Salome, on s’en fout de la sensibilité…

    Un geste osé… bravo les gars! et bravo également au Maître d’Ouvrage et à tous ceux qui ont contribué à permettre d’ériger ce type de construction.

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  • JP


  • Nathan

    I like the intervention. The previous building was a dog anyway.

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  • robert

    o d d

    ^roof plane:))

  • shatha

    I don’t agree with the design. Architecturally speaking, it’s like they have glueed the cubes to the building.

  • pit

    Réalisation qui présente le paradoxe d’être à la fois prétentieuse et très cheap. On dirait les infrastructures des HLM des années 60. Le patrimoine industriel a été bradé. Sans tomber dans le côté “bienvenue à l’usine”, les architectes auraient pu mieux prendre en compte l’esthétique du 19ème siècle et mettre mieux en scène ce patrimoine industriel architectural typique.

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