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Rive Gauche, Charleroi, Belgium

Architects DDS+ explain how their Rive Gauche project acts as a catalyst for regeneration in Charleroi, Belgium, and the importance of traditional sustainable materials – including a copper alloy – in its thoroughly contemporary design. 

Rive Gauche transforms the lower city into a dynamic and attractive district. With its programme of retail plus hotel, youth hostel, housing, offices and car parking, it completes and fosters the mix of urban functions, breathes life into pre-existing activities and offers new employment opportunities. Rive Gauche is not just about a building, but about creating a part of the city with the rebirth of a public square. It reconnects two districts, revitalises the city centre, creates a ‘landmark’ and interacts with the city.

TRADITIONAL SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

The building is an audacious monolith, lightened by extensive glazing and opened onto the city by multiple entrances and passages. The crushing effect of the existing 26-storey office tower is tempered by the new building at its foot. The facade overlooking the Place Verte is elaborated as a spectacular window on the city. By day and night, it fosters interaction between commercial and public spaces.

The architecture gives expression to the building’s public and commercial functions in the city. The architectural vocabulary plays with volumes, transparency and diversity, and intrigues by contrasting strong and light, monolithic and porous. Traditional and sustainable materials are reinterpreted in a contemporary way. The lightness and richness of the golden copper alloy – expressed in both transparent, expanded metal screens and solid panels with surface relief – contrast with the massive grey bricks. By using the same bricks and granite pavement, a sense of continuity is created between street and covered promenade.

AWARDS:

ICSC European Shopping Centre Awards 2018 - Medium New Development category: Winner - Regeneration Award (Medium): Winner / MIPIM Awards 2018 - Best Shopping Centre category: Finalist / World Architecture Festival 2017 - Best New Shopping Centre category: Finalist / MAPIC Awards 2017 - Best New Shopping Centre category: Finalist / American Architecture Prize 2017 - Commercial Architecture category: Honourable mention

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Building

Completion date: 
2017
Country: 
Belgium
Zip code: 
6000
City: 
Charleroi
Street: 
Place Verte 20- Boite 2
Location: 

Categories

Applications: 
Facades
Shading
Transparent structures
Type of building: 
Office buildings
Commercial, trading
Residential
Hotels, accommodation
Copper used: 
Golden alloy
Estate: 
New

Architect

Name, office: 
DDS+
Address & description: 
https://www.dds.plus/

Copper contractors

Title: 
Reflex Facade

Awards

Categories: 
Other winner

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Nick Hay

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