Construction Date: First Phase 2019
Photos by: Philippe Braquenier
Inside an unoccupied industrial building close to Charleroi train station, new working spaces for high-tech companies andstart-ups were laid out according to a city grid. Twenty officespaces for eight people frame a central public space comprising communal amenities such as various meeting spaces, as well as community and leisure spaces. The central space, an indoor tropical garden, offers a different kind of community and leisure space, thus encouraging new forms of work and collaboration.
City grids can be considered to testify to a culture’s cosmogonia. As such, the urban grid of the post- industrial workspace is that of high individual liberty— in the form of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial freedom—confronted with a strong regulatory framework inherited from salaried employment, which implies the control of individuals and optimisation of productivity. Referencing the Roman training camp, organised according to two perpendicular axes symbolising order and the submission of the worker to the city’s logic. The central shared spaces bring the workers together through federative collective activities, similarly to the exercise ground.
The project is entirely removable in case the industrial space needs to be converted or demolished. Each element has been considered in terms of re-use and short construction phase (4 months). The work modules are composed of industrial storage platforms. The facilities are autonomous and can be accessed from the roofs of the work spaces. All partition materials can be detached and re-used elsewhere.