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Charleroi District Créatif

Location Charleroi, Belgium
Timeline 2015 - 2022

relayouting and revalorisation of the historic town centre of Charleroi

Intro

Charleroi DC (Charleroi Creative District) aims to address the lack of appeal of the city centre. After the lower city, and thanks to the 2014-2020 programming of ERDF funds, Charleroi is carrying out this ambitious urban redevelopment project in the upper city. The project includes the renovation of several strategic downtown locations, as well as several kilometres of road infrastructure.

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Client(s)
  • Stad Charleroi
  • Igrétec
Architects
  • Bas Smets
  • MDW Architecture

Story

The design is mainly based on regaining a quality public space from the busy traffic.

Following an important improvement of down-town, the up-town is currently being tackled, supported by Europe with FEDER subsidies. A total of 16 projects have been selected, including the redevelopment of the main axes and squares throughout the city centre, with particular attention to the significant reduction of car traffic, and the upgrading of the axes for soft road users (cyclists, pedestrians), and particular attention to a green upgrading.

The project "Charleroi - District Créatif - Rédynamisation des Voiries de la Ville Haute" was won by the team of Bureau Bas Smets and VK Engineering. VK Engineering is responsible for all technical disciplines.

The urban development aspect as well as the transformation of the tunnel (Solvay-Roullier) into an underground car park will be taken care of by MDW Architecture. This project team is composed of many exceptional creative talents, including Agence ON (lighting), Muller Van Severen (Designer), Pam & Jenny (who developed the Charleroi logo), Michel Roscam (director, consultant),... Egis (mobility),...

The project involves the redevelopment of the old town centre, including Place Charles II, Place du Manège and some 2 kilometres of central streets and boulevards.

It goes without saying, therefore, that these regeneration works have led to a thorough reorganisation of the city centre. Among other things, the mobility study, the parking study, the location of events and commuters, lighting studies,... were thoroughly revised for the entire centre. Not only the roads, but also all utilities, sewers, fountains, etc... will be completely renewed.

The design is mainly based on regaining a quality public space from the busy traffic. The functions of the various squares will therefore be thoroughly revised. Place Charles II will be almost completely car-free. The old fountain, which took up all the remaining space next to the ring road around the square, will be broken up and will make way for a fully integrated fountain. A 3D water level study provides a higher quality image. Seating elements, benches, trees and lighting provide a new experience of the vacant space. Place du Manège is also completely revalued. Where currently there is a large car park, room is being made for open space where events, including the weekly market, can take place.

The parking spaces will be compensated by converting the Solvay-Roullier tunnel into a car park. In collaboration with Bow-Wow Architects from Tokyo, the axis near the Université du Travail will be converted into a high-quality campus. The entrances are accompanied by very high quality awnings, both conceptually and technically.

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