Caruso St John Architects

2011–2016
Location: Lille, FR
Client: City of Lille and Region Nord-Pas de Calais
Project Status: Ongoing Project

The establishment of the Lycée Hôtelier de Lille on the FCB site is a first and very significant step in the transformation of a historically important place of industry. The master plan for the large scale structures and open spaces of this disused industrial complex sets out to sustain the scale, the monumentality and the spatial qualities of the existing site. We share this ambition to embody the historical significance of the FCB site and to realise the quality and atmosphere afforded by its magnificent historic fabric. Our strategy for working in and around the historic building fabric of the FCB site is one of material transformation and typological continuity. We wish to make the new Lycée Hôtelier de Lille a rich and intense place at the same time as preserving a sense of the site’s industrial past as well as the attractive, if slightly melancholy, character of its present abandoned condition. The existing structures that we have chosen to keep, we keep in their entirety, applying a light touch to their restoration that brings into focus their epic scale as well as their history. The new structures that we propose are pragmatic, and share a tectonic and material sympathy with the existing. This is not a game of new and old, but rather about making a powerful new whole.

The programme for the Lycée Hôtelier is organised within the footprint of the former factory structures. Where the FCB site and the surrounding city meet, we have located a complex of new buildings. These accommodate the gymnasium, the student residence and staff housing, uses that naturally bridge between the existing communities that surround the site, and the new communities that will inhabit this new urban quarter.