After having realized the Institute of Molecular Sciences of Orsay (2017) with Fres Architects, the Dutch agency KAAN Architecten associates this time with the Parisian cabinet Pranlas Descours for the design of the Chamber of trades and Crafts of Lille (59). The result is a monumental, glass-clad work in which natural light reigns supreme.

Integrated in a large operation launched in 2007 and providing for the insertion of a campus on a former industrial wasteland of 2,5 hectares, the regional branch of the Chamber of Crafts and Crafts is characterized by a simple, perfect square volumetric 80 meters aside and culminating at 25 meters high. A radical silhouette accentuated by the aluminum frames religiously surrounding the many vertical windows but which hides however a lot of subtleties. The facade of the first floor sharply recessed creates a game of depth and interrupts the rigor of the book by letting itself overhang the second level cantilevered.

"With its minimalist aesthetic and elegant transparency, the monolithic building gives an enveloping and protective gesture. " KAAN Architecten

The building has two public squares at different levels. On the ground floor, the architects install the new Place des Artisans in the south while on the first floor, a large terrace to the north dominates the rue du Faubourg Arras. In addition, six planted patios punctuate the plan and connect the set to the outside.

The CMA is divided into two connected but distinct poles, each benefiting from its entry. When the one dedicated to administrative spaces takes place on the rue du Faubourg-d'Arras, the one devoted to apprenticeships - cooking and hairdressing schools, conference rooms, laboratories and auditorium - is installed closer to the city center. The two entities are connected by wide, immaculate corridors running right through the building and even offering views of the central atrium.

The interiors, generously lit by the many openings, are finished with light wood floors and white walls, letting the natural light reflect with ease.

A building in which it is good to study!

Project title : Chamber of Trades and Crafts of Hauts de France
Location: Lille (59)
Owner: Chamber of Trades and Crafts of Hauts de France
Mastery of work : KAAN Architecten, Pranlas Descours architects
Surface area: 14 m² SDP
Cost of works: 36 500 000 € HT
Calendar : 2019 delivery

To learn more, visit the site of Pranlais Descours architectes / KAAN Architecten

Photographs: Fernando Guerra

Zoe Térouinard

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