Le Carré Long – A business incubator:
For more than a century, Frasnes has been the site of major industrial sugar production operations.
When the company Iscal Sugar closed its doors in 2004, vacating an area of 10ha at the heart of the Parc Naturel des Collines, the inter-communal organisation IDETA seized the opportunity and turned the area into a business estate (2013). It is this labour, rural and local history that the architects have sought to relate through the discrete renovation of three buildings of the sugar refinery into a business centre and two relay halls.
The first building, a parallelepiped fitted with photovoltaic panels, displays an environmental ambition facing the RN 529. In terms of parking, a scale welded to the original structure marks the entrance. The two other buildings, large halls situated at the other end of the site, have façades that are positions according to the new entry systems.
The order includes green spaces, emphasised by steel sheet piles that are a tribute to the industrial past of the site. These spaces are open and accessible to residents. The three interventions are joined together by a shared architectural lexicon based on the repeated use of iconic materials; while the cladding with variable spacing made from retified cottonwood used on two of the three buildings is reminiscent of handling pallets, coated sheet steel and Corten steel is used on all of the traffic hubs and entry nodes.
According to one interpretation of the vernacular, the H&V office will elude the usual mediocrity of zoning.
H&V Holoffe-Vermeersch Architecture