Create a signal in the landscape The operation takes place along a canal in St. Pierre, which is the former industrial district of Calais. It continues the urban renewal initiated by La Cité de la Dentelle (by Moatti&Rivière Architects) located a hundred meters downstream. In this bleak urban landscape, the conversion of the existing industrial hall has to be visible. The future facility must signal its presence and invite potential users, the young and curious, to enter. The high clearance at the front of the building offers increased visibility of the west gable from the surrounding area. This gable, which has been completely redesigned, will project a strong signal into the public space. Reclassify the hall The existing building is a common industrial hall with no outstanding features, consisting of a concrete structure filled with precast concrete panels and a roof of cement sheets. The hall was once a roasted peanut factory, followed by various other incarnations (including a go-kart track) before being abandoned for several years. Prior to handing and processing it had been dilapidated, vandalised and had become structurally unsafe. The first task was to open the dark hall before curettage and structural recovery. This was achieved by removing precast concrete panels on the eastern and western facades to release through-views and bring natural light into the heart of the building.
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