Window shopping with a view. A driving force behind urban regeneration.

  • Divided city
  • Sleeping district
  • Lack of identity
  • Deserted lower city

Rive Gauche, a driving force behind the lower city’s urban development. In line with the political will for the city’s urban and aesthetic regeneration, the project:

— reconnects two districts.
— revitalises a city centre.
— creates a ‘landmark’.
— interacts with the city.


01 Urban planning

Reactivate connections between uptown and downtown.

The project redefines public space, enhances pedestrian flows and reconnects the upper and lower city by a new commercial route. The redesigned Place Verte opens onto the boulevard Tirou, from which it was until now separated by the ‘Colonnades building'. By setting a new building at the foot of the 26-storey office tower, its crushing effect is tempered. A new public square is created, convivial and more appropriate for civic events. Pedestrian flows were extended on a wider scale, including the riverside and adjacent streets. Rive Gauche is not just about a building, but about creating a part of the city with the rebirth of a public square.

  • Remove "Colonnades Building"
  • Combine boulevard and square
  • Define implantation
  • Reactivate pedestrian flows

02 Programme

Implement a shopping centre in the heart of the city.

Rive Gauche transforms the lower city into a dynamic and attractive district. With its mixed programme, it completes and fosters the mix of urban functions, breathes life into pre-existing activities and offers new employment opportunities. It re-brands the city and brings back economic activity with shopping, working, living, tourism.

  • Retail 77% (90 stores)
  • Hotel 8% (124 rooms)
  • Youth hostel 5% (200 beds)
  • Housing 8% (49 apartments)
  • Office 2%
  • Car park (1.000 places)

03 Site plan

Porous monolith. Integrate the building within the surrounding environment.

Rive Gauche is conceived as a permeable commercial promenade, flooded by natural light and in direct dialogue with the urban public space. It is an audacious monolith, lightened by large windows and opened onto the city by multiple entrances and passages. By using the same bricks and granite pavement, a sense of continuity is created between street and covered promenade. The facade overlooking the Place Verte is elaborated as a spectacular window on the city. Day and night it fosters interaction between commercial and public spaces.

  • Design a distinctive monolith
  • Open with large windows
  • Connect by multiple entrances
  • Integrate the historical Passage de la Bourse

04 Stylistic

Traditional materials, contemporary architecture.

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 fold metallic material contrast with the massive grey bricks. The visual porosity of the open brickwork offers interesting scenographic effects.

  • Bricks
  • Open brickwork
  • Metal mesh
  • Glass


Renaissance d’une place publique

Bien plus qu’un simple bâtiment, le projet Rive Gauche entend créer un nouveau quartier en faisant renaître une place publique.

Technical information

Charleroi, Belgium
Residential, Retail, Hospitality, Mixed-use
Saint-Lambert Promotion
110.000 m²
New construction, Renovation


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Interested in this project? Contact the project partner to get more information

Olivier Callebaut

Ir architect - Partner