The word’s gone out on the Ateliers Chantrenne site: deconstruct to build back better.

In the heart of the city centre of Nivelles, a former paper factory is being dismantled and recycled. The building bricks are being used on facades, the frame will be used to make street furniture, the floorboards turned into cupboards and stands, the building rubble into roads, the old machines into table bases and the steel casting moulds into lamps.

As well as preserving the material identity of a hundred-year-old site, the reuse of materials maintains a direct historical continuity with the Ateliers Chantrenne – a sustainable approach that limits the need for new resources and cuts down on the back and forth of lorry transport, taking into consideration the site’s neighbourhood.

Part of the region’s industrial heritage, this brownfield site currently has very few permeable surfaces, polluted soil and a building that is totally isolated from its environment. The new layout will open up the site and provide it with visual transparency, letting in the sunlight. Accessibility will be facilitated by pedestrian paths, a new road, and access from the two adjacent streets (rue Roblet and rue Delfosse), thus better integrating the site into the urban fabric of the town.

With a generous planted area and outdoor spaces that encourage soft mobility, the whole project is designed to create an urban ecosystem that allows future occupants and residents to make it their own. With 61 flats, five single-family houses and a number of shared facilities (communal vegetable garden, shared cars and bicycles, neighbours’ room, toolbox, etc.), several elements of this project follow a circular approach, offering timeless and sustainable homes to future residents.

Chantrenne project