06/09/2019 - After the launch of its new Parisian outpost, the Dutch architecture firm KAAN Architecten together with the French office PRANLAS-DESCOURS architect & amp; associates (PDAA), presents the new Chambre de Métiers et de l'Artisanat (CMA) Hauts-De-France in Lille (France).

Winning proposal of an international competition for the Eurartisanat campus, this building represents a new entrance to the city and is part of its urban development started in the 80s with the district of Euralille, Euratechnologies and Eurasanté.

The CMA is located on the edge of the ancient 17th-century Vauban fortification, now replaced by a high-speed ring road. The northern perimeter of the site is defined by a railway line and the botanical garden - Jardin des Plantes de Lille.

To the south, Rue Abélard delimits a larger area designed by KAAN Architecten and PDAA comprising the CMA headquarters, a future complex of five buildings and a lush park which extends along the site as an extension of the nearby garden.

With its minimalist aesthetic and elegant transparency, the monolithic building opens in an enveloping and protective gesture towards the surrounding nature, giving strength to the dialogue between the different elements of the area.

With wide horizontal sections, the CMA is spread over three floors with a square footprint of 80 by 80 meters and contains both educational functions and spaces dedicated to supporting the business for the originate.

Each level has a strong link with the green landscape: on the first floor, KAAN Architecten and PDAA have designed a prominent overhang that frames a panoramic view of Lille and the gardens. The building has two public squares at different altitudes. On the ground floor is the new Place des Artisans (south), while a large terrace, north of the first floor, aligns the project with Rue du Faubourg d'Arras connecting it to it with a bridge. Both public entrances are connected by a series of representative spaces: the south square, the atrium, the auditorium and the foyer, as well as a large opening overlooking the north terrace. In addition, each entrance serves the two main architectural sectors: the training center for apprentices and the offices dedicated to supporting business procedures for craftsmen.

The CMA is symmetrically organized around six courtyards that provide natural light for most of the circulation spaces and divide the building into four groups that host different areas and extend over all three levels. The functions vary from local and regional administration to research and education structures (hairdressing school, cooking school, laboratories, classrooms).

To interact with the urban fabric and the surrounding landscape, the architects paid great attention to the use of natural materials: glass and stone. The ground and second floors are surrounded by a double modular glass facade, which guarantees climate control and quality acoustics. Covering the entire height of the top, each module has an internal window in polished aluminum, which can be opened, and a fixed external glass panel with a reflective print capable of creating a completely transparent area at eye level and at the same time to camouflage the building in nature. In addition, the patio facades, with windows with large polished aluminum frames, are covered in Vals quartzite, a very solid, compact and frost-resistant Swiss stone. This same stone was used on the patio floors and in the entrance hall to revive the link between exterior and interior.

Through its solid materiality, the CMA aims to articulate, absorb and reflect the surrounding greenery and, at the same time, to stand out as a new iconic element, an inhabited landscape dedicated to the public sphere.

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