Val Benoit - Génie Civil:
The Val-Benoît site is a modernist architectural complex built between 1930 and 1965.
The complex, which was initially built for education purposes (the Université de Liège), is located on the edge of Meuse, at the southern entrance to the city of Liège. The site, which is now abandoned, is the subject of a vast rehabilitation project.
The former Institut du Génie Civil (the institute for civil engineering), a creation of architect Joseph Moutschen (1895-1977), is a major testament to modernist architecture in Liège. The client wishes to transform this iconic place, which was initially dedicated to education, into an area of economic activity. The transformation of the Institut du Génie Civil heralds the start of the transformation of Val-Benoît.
The synthesis between multiple functional and budgetary constraints, not only with regards to the Institut du Génie Civil but also for the site as a whole, suggests the central part of the building. The space revealed, bathed in light, is the object of specific landscape operations and is criss-crossed by two overlapping gateways. The lower gateway is part of the system for access to the building and to the site as a whole. The upper gateway, which is larger, protects the lower gateway from bad weather and offers users a large collective terrace that is conducive to relaxation and informal gatherings.
The “open” structural post/beam system and the generosity of transparencies and areas for movement would suggest the main options for the reuse of the 13,000 square metres available. The strategies proposed as regards the position and organisation of technical hubs would indicate the prospect of an adaptation of functions over time. From this point of view, the transformed Institut du Génie Civil assumes its status as an “open building”: open to the future.
The outer shell of the Institut du Génie civil has been completely redesigned and has been the subject of in-depth thermodynamic studies. The aim is to ensure very low energy consumption.
The rehabilitated Institut du Génie Civil will become the trigger for a reconversion of a single-purpose complex into a piece of a sustainable, complex and multiple-purpose city.
Baumans-Deffet architecture urbanisme - associé(s): Architecture Alain Dirix s.c.p.r.l.