St-Gilles House of Culture
Situated near Midi station, this former warehouse has been transformed into a ‘House of Culture’. Covering 1500 m2, it houses three multi-use rooms that have retained their industrial character. All areas have been re-designed. Behind the vast, glazed entrance the foyer has been opened up with light enticing visitors in from a central corridor that skirts a curved, translucent wall.
Originally, three areas revolved around a dark and narrow courtyard. The architects proposed covering this with a canopy to make it into the centrepiece. And then to encourage interaction project managers arranged the foyer, access to toilet facilities and connecting in a vertical manner.
Budget was very limited at €560/m2 but the architects still managed to adhere to all fire and PMR standards. No flights of fantasy here: activities take place in sober black and white decor. Bricks are left unfinished and painted over. A single neutral coating connects the spaces. The only luxury is the light coming into the mezzanine, a wall of industrial glass, the colourful entrance and the glass-slab passageway. Given this is a house for ‘cultures’ it was necessary to create a neutral environment allowing different groups to make their mark.