Located in the interior of an urban block in the commercial core of the city of Herstal, which is known for its industrial and artisanal past, the project consists in rehabilitating a group of existing buildings into a sports and well-being centre.
The existing buildings have two different typologies which creates a contrast between a more recent lightweight timber-frame structure with that of the older industrial buildings and their brick cladding.
The aim was to reinforce the strong points of the existing project, its circulation, the patios and its transversality, while adapting it to this program.
Giving a notion of a core, of gathering was important for this program, which was a challenge considering the elongated typology of the site.
As the sports centre is open all year round, closing the circulation that was previously outside was fundamental. This way it keeps the principle of the circulation that runs along on one side of the patios and on the other side the activities such as the polyvalent rooms to create a visual contact. The circulation is reinforced with moments of dilation and pause, to become spaces of gathering and transition towards the different activities of the program.
The shared activities, such as the reception, a waiting room, a bar and a brasserie, are around this centrality. These spaces can extend to the two patios. Another patio is left private for the users of the wellness area.
In terms of the materiality of the interventions, it is are interpretation of the existing buildings, working with timber and glass. A grid has been put in place to create a new rhythm.
The result with the rehabilitation of these buildings aims to reactivate the city centre with activities that are useful for its inhabitants.