AgwA architecture office and Ney & Partners engineers were commissioned the development of a retractile membrane roof for the exceptional heritage military building known as the Carré des Arts. In the framework of Mons 2015 European Capital of Culture, the courtyard houses the "Festival au Carré" and other events run by the arts school Arts², the city and the regional cultural leader Le Manège in Mons (be) and Maubeuge (fr). The space can host up to 1200 persons. The courtyard, the largest open air courtyard in the city center, is now covered by five large membrane vaults responding the archs and rythm of the building. The membranes can be completely removed, leaving the heritage building intact. The special structure was designed in order to allow a very easy and fast handling from the ground and to integrate all structural reinforcements in the thickness of the existing concrete structure. The belgian artist Jean-Luc Moerman painted an immense network of curves on the asphalt of the courtyard : a new floor echoeing the new sky.
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