The magnificent Chambre de Metiers l'Artisanat de Lille features striking horizontal design

The magnificent Chambre de Metiers l'Artisanat de Lille features striking horizontal design

(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)
(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)

A dramatic new enclave dedicated to arts and culture has risen up among the old city fortification of Lille, France. The winning project of a competition held in 2007, the Chambre de Metiers l’Artisanat is the joint work of Netherlands-based KAAN Architecten and Parisian firm PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates, which also has offices in New York City.

(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)

The multipurpose building cuts a monolithic figure with a horizontal design organized around the site’s history and geography, merging diverse botanical species with artificial topography. Three main floors serve distinct purposes: The grand lobby on the public ground floor ushers visitors in with skylight views and sweeping, open spaces designed with special attention to human scale.

(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)

The first floor features educational spaces and computer facilities, while the second floor has office spaces enclosing an auditorium at the core of the building. The areas are separated by two independent-level entrances, an “articulated program division” and a “clear circulation system” demarcated by green patios that subtly direct visitors throughout the building.

(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)

At roughly 186, 216 square feet, the building also contains administrative offices, exhibition spaces, teaching rooms, a library, education and study areas, and a restaurant.

(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)

Construction commenced on May 22, 2015 with the first stone laying ceremony attended by the Ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et du Dialogue Social, Mr. Francois Rebsamen and the President of Le Chambre de Metiers l’Artisanat du Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Mr. Alain Griset. The building is set to be completed by 2017.

(Courtesy KAAN Architecten/PRANLAS-DESCOURS Architect & Associates)
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