Constructing Tertiary Lille
Post-Urban & Post-Industrial Constructing Tertiary Lille
Simon Goddard | AA Projective Cities 9
Preceding Images: Page 2 . Bayer, Eurasanté, Lille, 2014. Page 3. Factory, Roubaix, ca 1900. Archives Departmentale du Nord Page 4. Haute Borne Technology Park, Lille. Bing Maps. Page 5. Factories in Tourcoing. Centre de Histoire Locale, Tourcoing. Page 6. La Redoute, Roubaix, 2014. Page 7. Workers leaving François Masural Fréres, Factory, Tourcoing, 1950. Centre de Histoire Locale, Tourcoing. Thank-you to: Program Staff Sam Jacoby for always putting the project first and for hours of discussion, support and debate. Adrian Lahoud for some sharp insights. Mark Campbell for emboldening my writing. Maria S. Giudici for engaging seminars. External Experts Professor Didier Paris for taking the time to talk and for generously sharing his work on Lille. Marie Chamboll, Head of Natural and Urban Space at Lille Métropole for an enlightening discussion. Claire Schorter, Claire Schorter Architecture and Urbanisme, for teaching me French Urbanisme. Financial Support My parents, David and Ruth Goddard for underwriting this adventure. AA Bursary without which I would not have come to the AA. Dreyers Fond, Denmark. Material Support Raphael Family for so generously opening their home to me. Franco Family, likewise. Gehl Architects for providing my workstation. Support Elise without whose love, flexibility and support these two years would not have been possible. This dissertation is dedicated to you.
Dissertation Projective Cities (M.Phil in Architecture & Urban Design) Tutor: Sam Jacoby Architectural Association School of Architecture Graduate School I certify that this piece of work is entirely my own and that any quotation or paraphrase from the published or unpublished work of others is duly acknowledged.
Simon Goddard, 19.06.15
Typeset in Meta Paper: Munken Polar 150gsm Word count —with captions
Post-Urban & Post-Industrial Constructing Tertiary Lille
Key Terms & Methodology
THE POST-URBAN ECONOMY
The Parallel Métropole
Case Study: Haute Borne
Project: Urban Corporate Campus
THE POST-INDUSTRIAL BLOCK AS A SOCIO-SPATIAL ARMATURE
The Industrial Block and its Ruin
The Post-Industrial Block
Better Sites d’Excellence
Project: Co-working Courée
PRODUCTION AS A SOCIAL CATALYST
A New Productive Diagram & Context
Project: The Productive Arcade
Framing Contested Space
How can we re-think metropolitan economic development as urban rather than post-urban, with the attendant benefits in terms of communality, services, amenities and productivity?
The knowledge economy has been sold to us as incredibly urban. Whether it is images of the Google Campus or of laptops loiterers in Starbucks, the lifestyle projected by media and by academics including Richard Florida and Edward Glaeser is one that is urban, connected and flexible. However, in a remarkable development the post-industrial city is also the post-urban. At least this is the case for the fast-growing sectors of health, IT and high technology, whose function is to generate the key materials of the information economy.1 The specific urban lifestyle associated with innovation environments, and represented in marketing brochures, literature and real estate speak often isn’t realised. In Lille, ‘Knowledge Economy’ has resulted in a branded, caricatured and segregated métropole – a Parallel Métropole. By zoning and isolating Technopoles, Lille has created a geography of generic post-urban development that is nonetheless branded as cutting edge. This has been pursued at the expense of a more robust engagement with the post-industrial disenfranchised, who do not fit the specific subject that the Knowledge Economy as brand demands. ‘Knowledge Economy’ is a limited, fraught and discriminatory response to the regional economic restructuring program brought about by globalisation and the ensuing deindustrialisation throughout the developed world, particularly in second-tier cities such as Lille. While the low-skilled, post-industrial subject has been the loser in this state of affairs, it is this very post-industrial condition that Lille has been trying to ‘mutate’ itself away from.2 This would be better done through projects that do not ignore or sidestep the problem, but rather engage with it. A privileged urban space for economic development is conceivable; however it need not be isolated, classspecific or even industry-specific. Indeed, Lille’s unique industrial blocks have the potential to facilitate a far more inclusive expression of metropolitan economic development which can lead in the end to a different, urban, idea of what Lille might become.
01. Manuel Castells and Peter Hall, Technopoles of the World: The making of 21st Century Industrial Complexes (Oxon: Routeledge, 2004), 1. 02. Dominique Carré ed., Euralille, Chronques d’une Métropole en Mutation, 1988-2008 (Paris: Carré, 2009).
The research methodology for this dissertation is constructed within the framework and guidance of the Projective Cities graduate program at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. The target is for a half written, half designed piece of original research that poses and addresses a disciplinary, urban and architectural/typological question. These questions are presented in this dissertation as they become pertinent. I met regularly with Projective Cities program staff throughout the development of this work. Periodic reviews with external critics expanded on their input. Case studies are the cornerstone of this dissertation, and were drawn and curated from industrial, postindustrial and tertiary Lille. All Sites d’Excellence in Lille were visited and photographed in person, as was Wazemmes, Roubaix and Lille’s old town. Supplementary information for each case study including architectural and planning documentation was assembled through web research, and where required personal contact. Significant effort was spent on the Haute Borne website analysing every company listed in order to evaluate the veracity of metropolitan marketing. Lille’s planning scheme (PLU) was consulted online and assembled from over 100 individual maps into the metropole-wide zoning map presented in this document. This was overlaid and compared with CAD plans of all buildings, cadastral parcels, roads, green space, blocks and municipal boundaries for the Métropole to produce, amongst other things, the map of the Parallel Métropole presented at the beginning of the report. The metropolitan plan (SCOT), which includes valuable analytical material, was also studied. Both the Archives Municipales de Lille and the Archives Nationales du Monde du Travail in Roubaix were visited. In addition, the Archives Départementales du Nord features a large online database of historical cadastral parcels and photography that was drawn from. Augmenting and expanding on this were a number of discussions with key individuals critically involved in the development of tertiary Lille. I met with the lead author of Lille’s POPSU studies, Professor Didier Paris, who also forwarded the complete, and as yet unpublished, second volume for the reference of this thesis. POPSU
is the national forum for analysis of urban policy and design in France. I met with Marie Chamboll, Head of Natural and Urban Space at Lille Métropole and leader of the Eurasanté project, to discuss the way in which development is carried out in Lille. I also met with Claire Schorter, a private practitioner and lead urbanist on the ‘L’Union’ Site d’Excellence. Texts that compliment and expand on this primary material have been taken from a wide variety of sources. A literature review was undertaken that departed from the curated sets of titles at the AA library. Where titles were not available at the AA, the RIBA Library was also consulted, as were online journal databases. The library of the Montpellier Architecture School was used for French-specific titles. Government reports and websites also form part of this list. As material was gathered, case studies were analysed through drawing and diagramming. These were set in a broader disciplinary framework through the literature review and this was fed back into drawn analysis. As arguments emerged, these were tested in a projective way through design. Rather than attempting to address perceived problems, design work in this dissertation is used as a way of re-framing issues. In this sense, the three projects presented are understood as a form of evidence that, alongside the case studies, advances the argument. So while this is both a designed and written thesis, the design work ultimately supports and explores the potential of the argument, rather than attempting to provide a solution. To conclude, a number of further questions that arise from the work have been highlighted at the end of this dissertation.
Post-Urban In the post-urban condition the brand represents development more than the urban design. It is characterised by car-dependence, mono-functional enclaves and, of course, branding. This is the space of business parks and cul-de-sacs, whose duplicitous presentation masks the actual economic-rational forces driving development. In the post-urban condition, zoned enclaves serve as substrates for the curation and projection of smooth, market-oriented conceptions of community that are presented in marketing literature before the moment of occupation. Community only goes as far as the development parcel boundary. The clearlydelineated boundaries, empty sites and corresponding low-ambition architecture of the post-urban suits the speculative development community particularly well, including its ability to use marketing and branding to generate demand. However, in order for the post-urban to arise, context (social, historical, geographical, architectural) must be caricatured, suppressed or avoided – in particular when this context might require additional investment, or hinder the development of a strong brand. Parallel Metropole In Lille, the Parallel Métropole has been constructed through the post-urban condition. It is a prosthetic applied to the existing city, though one that competes with rather than augments its host. Instead of following the urban structure set by Lille’s world-class rail infrastructure, the Parallel Métropole is structured by arterial roads – creating an alternative network that allows residents to bypass the downtown and postindustrial districts completely. Its constituent parts include suburban cul-de-sacs, shopping malls and business parks as well as Lille’s Sites d’Excellence. These have all been developed to an economic-rational logic, one that rejects engagement with Post-Industrial Lille, and therefore hinders metropolitan attempts to ‘mutate’ towards a tertiary economy.
Knowledge Economy Knowledge Economy is a brand and not a thing. It is a conduit for various understandings and ideas of tertiary economic development, conceptions that can be adjusted to meet other ends. Therefore, Knowledge Economy cannot stand as justification for the peripheral development of Sites d’Excellence. Post-Industrial(ism) The post-industrial is often conflated with the tertiary economy. This conceals the problems that continue to exist in cities such as Lille as a result of the decline of industry, in effect equating the problem with its solution. This dissertation uses the term ‘post-industrial’ to describe the disenfranchisement that followed the departure of industry, and not the subsequent policy responses. This understanding re-frames the term ‘Post-Industrial Economy’ to a situation of crisis. After industry left, the economy collapsed, which, for instance, left Roubaix (a city within Lille Métropole) the poorest in France. Post-Industrial Block The post-industrial block is a physical manifestation of post-industrialism. The industrial revolution generated large swathes of Lille’s inner-urban neighbourhoods such as Wazemmes, Moulins, Roubaix and Tourcoing. This led to an eccentric urban block that accommodated both domestic and productive space, including the large plot of the factory. The collapse of industry had a devastating effect on these sites. Today, many remain sites of loss and disenfranchisement but they also hold potential for the kind of mixed-use, mixed-user development that cities around the world are trying to achieve. The postindustrial block is the single construct through which Lille’s industrial, post-industrial and tertiary societies can interact, and so central to this dissertation.
Lille, in northern France, was once an industrial powerhouse. In response to collapsing industry a posturban tertiary economy was developed under state leadership that bypassed the form and structure of the existing mĂŠtropole. This has left the city with two related problems: a parallel mĂŠtropole that does not engage with post-industrial districts and therefore continuing problems of stigmatisation and disenfranchisement in these neighbourhoods. The dissertation investigates how the two can be reconciled through socially-motivated economic development in post-industrial blocks. Detailed research into both the post-urban and post-industrial parts of the city, (including analysis of case studies), alongside projective design work is used to show that the post-industrial block is a rich socio-spatial armature for the re-framing and urbanisation of Sites dâ€™Excellence. Strategic and opportunistic use of the post-industrial block can create a different, urban kind of economic space in which various, specific stakeholders and constituencies can coexist and benefit from one other. This addresses both the post-industrial and post-urban conditions, even with modest ambition. It is a strategy that creates precisely the kind of mixed-use, mixed-user, mixed-typology urban form that features prominently in discussions on best urban practice and therefore a different idea of the potential of post-industrial cities. A demolished factory is shown to be more than vacant land, it is the possibility to produce the kinds of urban environments cities are attempting to make today.
The Post-Urban Economy
Roubaix Ville de LILLE
Lens 10km Lille Métropole and the surrounding region. Bing Maps.
TGV/DIVAT Rail/Metro Tram Freeways Metropolitan Boundary
Radial Rail Lilleâ€™s public transport is arranged radiating out from the TGV. This privileges an urban development pattern, concentrated around the TGV, Metro and Tram. The DIVAT is drawn at a 500m radius from these stops as a way to promote Transit Oriented Development.
Wattrelos Armentières Roubaix MarcqenBaroeul Lambersart
Seclin La Bassée
Existing Parc d’Activités (2009) Parcs Underway
Dispersed Parcs d’Activité While there are five nominated Sites d’Excellence in Lille, there are over 70 ‘Parcs d’Activité’. Most are more than 1km across, necessitating a peripheral location. They are an alternative economic geography distributed across the metropole, largely avoiding Lille’s world-class rail infrastructure.
Lille’s Five Sites d’Excellence In both academic literature (Crouch, Fraser & Percy, 2003) and state marketing of Lille Métropole, five ‘sites of excellence’ are highlighted. These are presented by Lille Métropole as sites for the convergence of a particular industry that is or aspires to be innovative. All have some financial backing from the state. These will be considered in this study as exemplars of the types of work spaces that attempt to be at the cutting edge of what is being built in Lille today. Each has been built on greenfield or ex-industrial land. They are as follows:
Euratechnologies Digital Startups & Accelerator
Euralille Banking and Insurance
L’Union Eco,Textiles & Multimedia
Successful IT startup space that includes incubator, accelerator, business hotel and conference space, with a global network of partner spaces. Support from all levels of government.
The seed of Lille’s tertiary transformation, Euralille is claimed as a European ‘hyper-hub’ in metropolitan marketing material, and the third-largest business quarter in France.
L’Union houses the European Centre for Textile Innovation (CETI). Located alongside this will be businesses related to imaging, video games and multimedia.
1600 Employees 120 Businesses
14000 Employees 130 Hectares
Eurasanté Health & Biotech
Haute Borne High Tech
Eurasanté is linked to Europe’s largest hospital quarter. Its innovation focus is health, nutrition and biotechnology.
Haute Borne is for R&D and high technology businesses. It is intended to prioritise cross fertilisation between laboratories and enterprise. It is coupled with Lille University 1 - Science.
2 600 Employees 12 500 Professionals 300 hectares
6000 Employees 120 Businesses 140 hectares
1300 Employees 90 Businesses 80 hectares
page 24 & 26 23
PA de Tourcoing Nord Centre International de Transport
U... - Special Zones: Euralille, and the four Technopoles. UX - Commercial: Allows for management of peripheral commerce. UE - Peripheral: Industrial or function needing isolation. UG - Mixed: Tertiary, Offices, Commerce, Services & Light Industry. Highway Collector Road Road
PA de Tourcoing Est
PA de Ravennes-les-Francs ZL de la Martinoire-Wattrelos
l’Union ZAC de Peupliers Eurozone PA du Beck
PA de la Becquerelle ZA 1 PA du Chat
ZAC de Roubaux Est
ZA de la Pilaterie
P.A de Quatre Vents Institut Textile de France ZAMIN
ZA du Fort
Euralille 1 & 2
Englos les Geants V2 Shopping Centre
Centre Regionale de Transport PA de Lille-Seclin
The Parallel Métropole Site de la Sucrerie
1.1 The Parallel Métropole
Lille, in northern France, was once a textile manufacturing powerhouse but today is an aspiring tertiary economy. From the 1850s through until its peak before the First World War, Lille’s spinning, dying and weaving factories supplied the fabrics for the fashions that would adorn the arcades of Paris. This was Lille’s golden age. After the wars, industry gradually declined and then completely collapsed in the 1970s, putting the city in crisis. Lille has since attempted to ‘mutate its métropole’3 from an industrial to a tertiary economy, following an infrastructural logic of high speed rail, arterial roads and zoning, and later culture and quality of life. Euralille is the most famous of a series of projects that have attempted to spearhead Lille’s transformation. The scheme was billed as the ‘tertiary turbine’4 that would launch Lille’s knowledge economy by making Lille the ‘centre of gravity for 50 million western Europeans’, as Koolhaas famously predicted in hyperbolic prose.5 Its design was deliberately abrupt, a heroic, generic set piece.6 This set the tone for Lille’s four technopoles. Though none match the sheer audacity of Euralille for inventions such as the 10,000 car carpark and skyscrapers straddling the railway, each offers a more modest take on the generic and the placeless, frequently covering their sins with ‘innovatively sustainable’ landscape features.7 Together with Euralille, they are marketed as Lille’s five-pronged tertiary attack, and leading brands in metropolitan promotion, labelled as ‘Sites d’Excellence’.8 Each has a zoned location in Lille Métropole, usually peripheral, owing to the large amount of land required for what are effectively glorified business parks. Aside from Euralille, they avoid Lille’s world class rail infrastructure, and instead each of the Sites d’Excellence are part of an urban structure of arterial roads that, along with a series of Parcs d’Activite (generic commercial parks) and suburban cul-de-sacs, constitute what I have called Lille’s Parallel Métropole. This is not mutation, but augmentation, a Parallel Metropole of business parks, collector roads and freeways. While the Parallel Métropole claims economic superiority through a clean break with the post-industrial city, its managerial, smooth and apolitical structure is only
made possible by the revitalised old town, which facilitates Lille’s uniqueness. Therefore, while the Parallel Métropole competes with the old city through cheaper rents and plentiful parking, it is nonetheless dependent on its continuing existence to survive. Inner Lille has become focused on cultural, commercial and residential development. The old town is now a place of recreation, not of production. The generic-ness of the Parallel Métropole creates a reflexive force upon the existing city to become a caricature of itself, a product, consumable. Events hosted by the city, such as the 2004 European Capital of Culture, feed this demand. In areas such as the national heritage-listed medieval quarter, this has led to soaring rents and high-end shops. Between this and the suburbs lie neighbourhoods with high unemployment and immigrant populations that remain some of the most underprivileged in France.9 Lille Métropole has become segregated into three conditions: a caricatured old town, impoverished, post-industrial inner-city neighbourhoods and suburbs with everyone else, and increasingly Lille’s economy. In Lille, branding, city marketing and a managerial/ economic development logic have taken precedence over the traditional interest of the city authority of advancing the public good, and particularly the wellbeing of the most disadvantaged – at least as far as the development of a tertiary economy is concerned. Indeed, Jon Lang’s description of the state of contemporary city branding is particularly resonant for Lille: As the seeds of the present day global economic meltdown were planted, planners were increasingly forced to become entrepreneurs, seeking corporate investment and tourist dollars in the highly competitive global economy. The primary focus of urban and regional planning shifted from helping the most disadvantaged to reviving in any way possible the changing inner cities and old downtowns seemingly threatened by the new urbanisation processes. This fiercely competitive mode of entrepreneurial planning simulated the rise of place-marketing strategies, image-oriented city boosterism, the creation of deregulated enterprise
Lilleâ€™s Zoning The pink/purple regions are the sites shown on the previous page, at the same scale and location. The Parallel MĂŠtropole is enforced by planning code.
or free-trade zones, state subsidised public-private partnerships and business development areas, and a host of other new tools designed almost entirely to tap external financial sources for local projects.10 Lille’s Parallel Métropole is paradigmatic of a broader entrepreneurial condition afflicting cities throughout the developed world. City governments are now agents of their own success, competing on a global stage for the investment of flighty multinational companies and ‘talent’ in the form of skilled individuals. City branding plays an instrumental role in this competition. Indeed, ‘to stay competitive in the world market place cities have to maintain a successful image, restore a past valid image or rebrand themselves after new images’ leading to ‘a growth in entrepreneurial modes of governance’.11 In this sense, the public body assumes not just responsibility for the administration of competing private interests, but their actual development. ‘It is a vision based on competition between cities, in which cities behave like private corporations in search of new investment, a new workforce, and new markets; expanding their productive capacities is a key part of this competition.’12 Knowledge Economy is a rubric used to this end. The creation of science and business parks in post-urban enclaves creates poor-quality productive environments and disappointing social outcomes through segregation. Louise Mozingo links them with the particular post-war development logic of suburban America.13 Manuel Castells and Peter Hall argue that the ‘Silicone Valley’ model of innovation environments constitutes only one example of an innovative milieu.14 Ali Madanipour is damning, suggesting that the ‘spatial organisation and appearance’ of Silicone Valley (the archetype of a business park) ‘hardly suggests’ an innovative milieu. It is rather, as Louise Mozingo states, suburban. He goes on to observe that ‘studies into the effectiveness of science parks
Dominique Carré, ed., Euralille, Chronques d’une Métropole en Mutation (Paris: Carré, 2009). 4. Carré, Euralille, 14. 5. Rem Koolhaas with Bruce Mao and Office for Metropolitan Architecture, S, M, L, XL : small, medium, large, extra-large, ed. Jennifer Sigler (New York: Monacelli Press, 1995), 1158 . 6. Rem Koolhaas et al., Euralille: The Making of a New City Centre (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1995), 5. 7. Paris, Liefooghe & Estienne, ‘Économie et Attractivité: Une Nouvelle Production Urbaine’ in Didier Paris and Dominique Mons, ed., Lille Métropole: Laboritoire du Renouveau Urbain (Lille: Parenthèses, 2009), 63. 8. Lille Métropole, Lille’s Creative World: La Metropole Plurielle (Lille: Lille Métropole, 2013), 15. 9. Louis Maurin and Violaine Mazery, ‘Les Taux de pauverté des 100 plus grandes communes de France’, Compas études no. 11 (2014): 1-4. 10. Jon Lang, ‘City Branding’ in Companion to Urban Design, ed. Tridib Banerjee and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris (Oxon: Routledge, 2011), 558. 3.
have either been inconclusive or only partly positive, unable to show the causal role they play in regional development.’15 Literature on Lille’s Sites d’Excellence supports this claim.16 Instead they become ‘part of the process of segregation and fragmentation of social groups that characterises the modern city.’17 Indeed, the ‘entrepreneurial approach [that] has been widely adopted by public authorities, has caused alarm over its social, political and environmental consequences.’18 This was also the underlying critique within Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin’s celebrated work.19 Iris Marion Young is particularly explicit stating that ‘segregation is wrong because it undermines both freedom and equality while also mystifying the existence of inequality.’ Further, ‘in segregated cities there are few opportunities for the types of informal interaction that dismantle stereotypes and build sympathy, therefore when encounters do occur, they frequently lead to misunderstandings or hostility.’20 The science park is a poor way to develop Lille’s tertiary economy, or that of any post-industrial city. It not only fails on its own terms, as I will show in the next chapter, but creates social problems linked to the segregation created by the Parallel Métropole. Lille’s Sites d’Excellence are duplicitous in their conception and largely fail on their own terms. Rather than the synergetic environments they are marketed as, they operate according to a purely economic logic of plentiful parking, cheap construction and a bucolic setting within the apparently prestigious confines of a branded Technopole. The Parallel Métropole is a geographical device of segregation created through the managerial tools of zoning and branding as well as infrastructural investment in roads and parking. It does not contribute to the goal of mutation but instead is a generic prosthetic that bypasses the city that came before it, while leaning on it for differentiation and marketing.
11. Lang, ‘City Branding’, 542. 12. Ali Madanipour, Sabine Knierbein and Aglaée Degros ed., Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe (Oxon: Routledge, 2014), 2. 13. Louise Mozingo, Pastoral Capitalism: A history of Suburban Corporate Landscapes, (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2011). 14. Castells and Hall, Technopoles, 27. 15. Madanipour, Knowledge Economy and the City: Spaces of Knowledge (Oxon: Routledge, 2011), 161. 16. Paris, Liefooghe & Estienne, ‘Économie et Attractivité’ 63. 17. Madanipour, Knowledge Economy and the City, 163. 18. Madanipour, Knierbein and Degros, Public Space, 2. 19. Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin, Splintering Urbanism: Networked infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition (London: Routledge, 2001). 20. Iris Marion Young, ‘Residential Segregation and Differentiated Citizenship’, Citizenship Studies 3, no.2 (1999), 243.
Haute Borne Technology Park
The Dom-ino Office
1.2 Case Study: Haute Borne Technology Park
Of Lille’s five Sites d’Excellence, Haute Borne is the most generic and the most popular.21 It is the product of a 1968 decision to relocate Lille’s science university (Lille 1) to the outskirts of town as a new Cité Scientifique alongside the re-zoning of farmland into a technopole for spin-off enterprises. It was the first project launched to develop Lille’s tertiary economy. The model was expressly based on Stanford Business Park though not mobilised as a project until 1999. The promised particle accelerator never arrived and despite the presence of a co-working laboratory from CNRS, France’s national scientific agency, the park’s scientific and high technology credentials are underwhelming. This is compounded by the relative weakness of Lille 1 as a research institution. Indeed, facing a lack of occupants upon launch, it was eventually a consumer finance company, Cofidis, that became Haute Borne’s first tenant – and remains the largest employer. While city promotional material claims that Haute Borne contains 120 businesses with over 6000 employees,22 less than half of those are what might be labelled High Technology or Research and Development firms, and more than one quarter are employed at Cofidis alone.23 It is instead an eclectic mix spread over 140 hectares, or more than 1 hectare per business. Haute Borne is the case in point of duplicitous, wasteful and compromised peripheral development in the name of Knowledge Economy. Haute Borne’s arrayed, uniform urban form does little to reflect the large variety in size and sector of resident
businesses. Everything from the Cofidis corporate campus through to the small, 2-person start-up resides within a generic, mid-size building – what I have labelled the Dom-ino Office (left) as it follows to the letter Le Corbusier’s famous housing structure prototype. The masterplan for Haute Borne amounts to little more than the array of Dom-ino offices within a bucolic landscape, providing ample parking, and branding the whole ensemble as synergetic. Lacklustre architectural differentiation is little consolation. While Haute Borne’s urban form suggests a purely market-led approach to its development, it is in fact the result of a powerful planning tool available to French city governance – the Zone d’Aménagement Concerté or ZAC (below). This allows the government to lead urban development through strong mechanisms such as a right to first refusal and forced acquisition of land, alongside upfront investment in consultants fees and investment later on to ensure the designed urban form is realised and maintained. It is only after a project has been designed that discussions with developers begin. Haute Borne was created through this construct, and therefore Lille Métropole holds much of the responsibility for the quality of the outcome. The Dom-ino office fails to develop relationships between individuals at an architectural, development parcel and campus scale due to constrictive architecture, a dispersed urban form and reliance on cars. Buildings are subdivided
ZAC € €€€
01 State Acquires Land
02 State Defines Project
03 Urban Design Competition
04 Negotiation Between State And Developer(s)
05 Contract Between State And Developer
Process for a ZAC (Zone d’Aménagement Concerté)
1600 employees (Cofidis)
Spectrum of Business Size and Industry at Haute Borne
Haute Borne 33
How can relationships between domesticity, recreation and production be built within and around innovation environments?
around narrow corridors, the locations of which are enforced through column placement and fire escapes. Development parcels privilege parking lots, staggering them and entry doors in an attempt to maintain the semblance of an Arcadian ideal. The corporate campus appears to be organised around a communal green, however the layout of service cores belies its actual orientation to the carparks at the rear. The architecture compromises the urban set piece by acknowledging the vehicular logic that structures the park. The Dom-ino office and its resultant urban form is not the setting for knowledge creation but the haphazard result of lazy urbanism. The expansive footprint of Haute Borne generates an onerous maintenance and upkeep responsibility. Metropolitan coffers are continuing to fund high-cost public space development while negotiations run concurrently between the Métropole and Haute Borne about who will pay for upkeep of that which is already built.24 The bucolic ideal is a lot of work. This money could be better spent on environments where people actually interact. Beyond the site boundary, the urban form and structure makes relationships between Lille 1 and Haute Borne difficult. Both campuses lack any centralities that might gather and focus a critical mass of individuals, or support the development of retail. Further, a collector road and landscape berm divide them for most of their shared
21. Anecdotal evidence measured by demand to locate there. Interview with Marie Chamboll, Head of Natural and Urban Space for Lille Métropole, May 2014. 22. Lille Métropole, Lille’s Creative World, 15. 23. Data compiled from Haute Borne Technology Park. ‘Les Enterprise’. Last updated 25 May 2014. http://www.parc-haute-borne.fr/en/parc/les-entreprises.html 24. Interview with Marie Chamboll, May 2014.
boundary. The domestic sphere, another potential point of exchange, is excluded. No architectural or urban design strategy is in place to reinforce and enable the original goal of collaboration between Lille 1 and Haute Borne. The Cité Scientifique is a post-urban brand and little more. Many in Lille recognise Haute Borne’s failings. It is tempting to dismiss as urbanism from a bygone era and the above criticism as past due. However, criticism continues in academic literature yet to be published,25 construction continues here and the park’s popularity attests to market relevance, despite weaknesses as a context for the knowledge economy, in program and in architectural quality. Indeed, the park can claim commercial success and new examples are being built throughout France. The business park type is alive and well. What is clear at Haute Borne, though, is that the branding of the park is duplicitous and misleading, that the clustering achieved through peripheral isolation has not created the synergetic environment that its marketing claims and that relationships with the university have mostly failed to materialise. Haute Borne’s business park logic is neither specific nor functional. The peripheral location has led to vehicular reliance that, combined with ample cheap land, has led to an explosion in scale that disqualifies the advertised synergy. Business combination is an accident of market forces and lacks a deliberate strategy. The sole logic is cost minimisation. This leaves Haute Borne open to challenge at an architectural, urban and metropolitan scale.
25. Céline Depière, ‘Pour une stratégie foncière dans les DIVAT de la communauté urbaine de Lille’ in Didier Paris, Dominique Mons and Christine Liefooghe, Vivre Ensemble dans l’espace métropolitain: Nouveaux liens, nouveaux lieux, nouveaux territoires (Lille: Plateforme d’Observation des Projets et Stratégies Urbaines, 2013 manuscript, unpublished), 566.
1. Development Parcels
2. The ‘Seed’
The site has been sold off in portions that are subsequently marketed by an individual developer as a park within a park. Each of these parcels tends to include four or five almost identical buildings. The largest became a corporate campus for a bank, Cofidis.
Most technopoles are ‘seeded’ with a government controlled institution. At Haute Borne, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) installed an outpost dedicated to collaboration between scientific disciplines, and including specialised nuclear imaging equipment. A particle accelerator was also meant to arrive, but ended up in Paris.
Haute Borne features a crèche, a restaurant (Centre de Vie) and a hotel. There is little thought given to contact between the three. Even within the park, they are not particularly easy or pleasant to walk to.
4. Farmland & Greenwash
A large portion of the farmland on the original site has been preserved, and continues to be operational. See image, previous page. The park is heavily marketed for its ‘eco’ credentials drawing from its landscape design. However, the car reliance endemic to the urban form is not at all ‘eco’.
Haute Borne includes over 4000 surface car parking spaces. It is around these that each of the development parcels is organised. Any challenge to the development pattern must take this fact into account.
While there was a provision for housing as part of the project, it remains separated from the productive space, with a distinctly different disposition. In fact, the housing is the only urban part of the project.
Analysis of Haute Borne
Subdivision Multiple companies to one building
Office Park Single company to one building
Campus Single company to multiple buildings
Relationships Are Inhibited At Multiple Scales
Office Park When there is at least one company per building, an arrayed urban disposition addresses itself solely to the parking lot. Little attempt is made to encourage interaction between buildings, and by extension companies.
The Dom-ino Legacy 37
12 Buildings at Haute Borne
Building 12, Parc Horizon Technology Park Office/Lab 1242 sqm (GFA) Architect Unknown
Circulation 12 sqm 2%
Workspace 583 sqm 90%
Footprint 650 sqm
This case study is taken from the top row of images on the left, Europarc. Floor space is maximised through a single entry that leads straight from the parking lot, creating an extremely efficient plan. An arrayed urban diagram is reinforced by glazing on all sides, requiring buildings to be set back from one another. Parking and landscaping fill this void.
The Dom-ino Office Type 39
Source: Lille Métropole marketing material.
1.3 Knowledge Economy?
Knowledge economy, or a sector thereof, ostensibly drives the mandate for Haute Borne’s peripheral location. The other four Sites d’Excellence are presented in a similar way. The preceding chapters unearthed some of the mechanisms for this including zoning, monofunctionalism, location adjacent to institutions and private and governmental branding that loosely aligns. The more detailed study of Haute Borne undermined its claims as a context for knowledge creation. Knowledge Economy is in fact just one more brand that is used to prop up the post-urban structure I have labelled the Parallel Métropole, and therefore to allow Lille Métropole to avoid taking on a more ambitious reform agenda within its project of economic development. In particular, poor, post-industrial neighbourhoods are overlooked as sites for production despite rich potential. If Lille is serious about ‘mutating’ away from Post-Industrialism, it must instead focus economic development on these sites of industrial demise. Knowledge Economy is a brand, not a thing. Ali Madanipour has described the term as ‘a banner that is waved by politicians to mobilise opinion and show the possible road ahead, used as a promotional and inspirational motto rather than an actual description of current conditions.’26 He goes further to observe that: ‘Overall, knowledge economy, broadly conceived as a collection of different knowledge-based activities, appears to be interested in whatever passes as knowledge in society, as long as it can be turned into an economic asset through finding exchange value.’27 Under this rubric, ‘economy’ often takes precedence over ‘knowledge’. Manuel Castells and Peter Hall endorse this understanding, observing that ‘branch-plants are better than no plants’ – that regional development should take precedence over knowledge intensity in the development of a technopole.28 This was the case with Haute Borne, where an economic imperative to kick-start an ailing Site d’Excellence led to Cofidis as the anchor tenant. Therefore, if the main interest is in achieving exchange value of whatever passes for knowledge, a broader set of actors are made available to contribute to Lille’s economic development project. Indeed, the many lowskill employees of Cofidis, or one of the other call centres at Haute Borne, do precisely that.
The Parallel Métropole is fuelled in part by duplicitous representation of Lille’s Sites d’Excellence. They are branded as specific, but gather a variety of skill levels and knowledge intensities into generic peripheral environments. Networks and relationships are one of the key assets of contemporary business and these parks fail to provide constructs and contexts that support their development – either amongst employees, or between them and the adjacent neighbourhood. On paper, the stated development goals of the Sites boil down to two points: economic development and spatial quality. Paris, Liefooghe and Estienne have raised the question: How is it possible to reconcile the two?29 They state that in fact business parks in Lille have quite simple requirements of ‘sufficient surface area, cost-efficient buildings, clear roads and ample parking’, describing Lille’s three ‘landscape’ business parks as mid-points between Howard’s Garden City, and Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine. Knowledge Economy has become a vehicle for the acquiescence of the state to market forces. This is not leadership, but submission. What I will show in detail in the second part of this dissertation is that there remains a clear need for leadership on the location and design of productive environments in Lille. The claimed mutation of Lille Métropole has not yet happened as the productive diagrams that were broken by post-industrialism are yet to be tackled head-on. Lille’s post-industrial neighbourhoods remain some of the poorest in France. Despite their poverty, government leadership has left them well served by public transport and community facilities such as arts centres. Further, redundant industrial sites remain, providing a stock of land for development. Lille Métropole should use its planning might to affect economic change in these areas. Territorial fragmentation caused by the branding and delineation of the Knowledge Economy is a poor social outcome, and therefore a questionable government policy.
26. 27. 28. 29.
Madanipour, Knowledge Economy, 22. Madanipour, Knowledge Economy, 84. Castells and Hall, Technopoles, 248. Paris, Liefooghe & Estienne, ‘Économie et Attractivité’, 63.
Cafe, Meeting and Function
Cofidis Corporate Campus
Project: Urban Corporate Campus
More than one third of businesses at Haute Borne employ individuals not usually considered knowledge workers. Rather than highly skilled professionals, these lower-skill labourers are call centre attendants and the like, a much smaller step for the post-industrial disenfranchised. A line of enquiry is therefore opened up in exploring how low skill enterprises can be better located for the benefit of post-industrial neighbourhoods. This is a vital and easy step in reconnecting Lille’s tertiary-sector economic development with the post-industrial city and subject. Branding and zoning of ‘Sites d’Excellence’ has obscured this strategy. The core question that drives this first design project is therefore: In what way can the lower-skill companies of Lille’s tertiary economy be integrated into post-industrial areas? In response, the proposal brings the Cofidis corporate campus (one quarter of the total Haute Borne workforce) into the post-industrial neighbourhood of Wazemmes. This is a poor, immigrant neighbourhood which is still in the process of demolishing many disused industrial buildings as the last of the industry moves away. A series of large sites are therefore being made available that fit the spatial demands of a corporate campus. Cofidis provides low-skill jobs for the lower middle class, including training. It is therefore potentially viable as lower-tier white collar employment.
General Motors Technical Centre, 1956. Source: Louise Mozingo, 2009.
The ‘Citroën Block’ or Îlot Citroën as it is known in Lille is the post-industrial block into which this scheme is introduced. It is examined in detail later in this dissertation. This part of Wazemmes has been identified by Lille Métropole as under-served by green space. The project proposes the introduction of the campus as a perimeter building with a central park, a variant of the corporate campus type that goes back to the General Motors Technical Centre of 1956 (right). The central green, which is traditionally the organising element of the corporate campus, is transformed into a public park. The park is given both street access and access from private back yards. This allows an adjacent technical high school to claim part of the park for sports. Ramo-Woolridge Research Laboratories, 1960. Source: Louise Mozingo, 2009.
1. Extroverted buildings around a central green.
2. Buildings are opened towards inner courtyard...
3. ...and linked to provide more flexible organisational arrangement.
5. The corridor organises the linear form.
6. The volume is extruded from this...
7. ...and selective openings introduced for access.
Transformation of the Corporate Campus The campus buildings are joined to allow for more flexible organisational arrangement. By following the perimeter of the site, the campus is oriented in upon itself, creating the kind of singular corporate identity that Cofidis attempted to create in the periphery. The building rises and falls to allow for solar access and for the above-mentioned permeability from the surrounding blocks and streets. 3Suisses, Cofidisâ€™ distance-selling parent company sees an opportunity and develops a course introducing supply chain management at the technical high school.
4. The siting strategy is applicable to a number of different sites in Lille, and a series of massing studies were undertaken responding to different footprints and massing strategies. 45
Footprint and Massing Studies
The Urban Corporate Campus 47
Summary of Brief
The project is a success in a rather blunt way – it urbanises post-urban enterprise for a type of company that has the capacity to employ the many low-skilled individuals that reside in the neighbourhood. It does this with an architectural form that is both responsive to surrounding solar access, permeable to adjacent plots and streets and allows for the development of a neighbourhood park. However, the project is in the end only moderate in ambition, subscribing to a long tradition of large-scale development within consolidated parcels of land. It relies on a single, large company which would effectively replace the industrial era labour hierarchy with a contemporary facsimile, though one that can depart on much shorter notice. This submits the state to private conditions, and could undermine the ‘publicness’ of the proposed park and therefore much of the reason for state involvement in the first place. Further, there is only limited interaction between the scheme and the post-industrial block (and by extension its inhabitants). Indeed, this dissertation will go on to show that it is precisely a better understanding of the socio-spatial context of the postindustrial block that can become the basis for design projects that investigate the disciplinary question raised in the introduction. The Urban Corporate Campus is a blunt instrument that achieves moderate success with limited ambition.
In what way can the lower-skill companies of Lille’s tertiary economy be brought into post-industrial areas? 1. Introduce Cofidis Corporate Campus into the Wazemmes district of Lille. 2. Include an extension of facilities for the adjacent school. 3. Provide an improvement in neighbourhood amenity as a result through the introduction of a public park. Typological Transformation: Corporate Campus, Post-Industrial Block.
Socio-spatial Narrative 1
Urban Corporate Campus Low-skill companies are incentivised to locate within Lille’s post-industrial districts as contemporary replacements to the factories that departed. The distance-selling prowess of Cofidis’ parent company, 3Suisses provides a new course for the students of a technical high school in supply chain management. New open green space is maintained as a public asset on the condition that it becomes an amenity such as a public park or school grounds.
EPIL Productive Diagram for the Urban Coporate Campus Associations are created through the workplace and public park.
The central park is reconceptualised not as a formal green, but a public park and school grounds, serving a neighbourhood with a dearth of green space.
Park as Organising Element 49
The Post-Industrial Block as a Socio-Spatial Armature
Aerial view of Roubaix on a postcard, ca 1900. Mediathéque Roubaix.
Grand Rue, Roubaix on a postcard, ca 1900, Mediathéque Roubaix
2.1 The Industrial Block and its Ruin
The industrial revolution shaped modern Lille. During this period, concurrent industrial growth and city expansion inscribed the emerging classes onto the metropolis through architecture and urbanism. The repository for this was the industrial block, which through allowing for the co-location of capitalists, the bourgeois and the working class became a diagram of production. As industry collapsed in the later part of the 20th century, this sociospatial diagram was eroded and replaced with the Parallel Metropole. The industrial blocks became a site of loss, and the neighbourhoods in which they are found have become stigmatised. The industrial revolution was Lille’s formative period as a society and a city. From the 1851 city expansion through until the First World War Lille’s population more than doubled and the city become second only to Manchester as a textile producing hub. City expansion and the industrial revolution were simultaneous, crystallising this dramatic period in architecture and urban form. Factories became deeply integrated in the city fabric of Lille, competing with churches for prominence on the city skyline and sitting alongside shops on city streets (left). While this expansion was organised through a Haussmannian masterplan prepared by Malte-Brun, the resultant blocks beared little resemblance to their Parisian model 200 kilometres away. Lille’s industrial block was a conglomeration of types that brought the emerging classes of capitalist, bourgeois and working class together into a single productive diagram. The block was structured by regular, mid-rise, Bourgeois housing that framed long boulevards criss-crossing the city. Many of the Bourgeois lived above their shop on ground level or operated smaller spinning and dying workshops. From the outside these were typical European perimeter blocks. They were deep, though, which allowed for full-size factories to occupy the interior, claiming only a small foothold on the expensive edge. The factories were the cornerstone of industrial Lille, owned by rich industrialists who usually lived on site with their family. Likewise, the labour for the factory often lived on the same block in a specific form of working class housing, the Courée, speculatively built by the Bourgeois to the
rear of their dwellings. Children of the industrialist and his workers would even attend the same school until the working class were old enough to join their parents in the factory. In this way, entire diagrams of industrial production and domestic socialisation were built within a classic European perimeter block structure. The industrial productive diagrams were fixed in place by the immense capital invested in large, heavy equipment and the buildings to house it. This was difficult to extract and move, creating a relatively stable society. Zygmunt Bauman has described this as a period of ‘Solid Modernity’, where industrialists, having made considerable capital investments in factories, were motivated to ensure a reliable workforce.30 Michael Miller describes how this created a paternalistic relationship in which owners undertook ‘personally the supervision and surveillance of their workforce’, even extending to the private sphere.31 Ensuring employee wellbeing ensured workforce reliability, or as Donzelot observed, morality equals productivity.32 From the point of view of the proletariat, close bonds emerged ‘both through contact in the workplace and through social links in the domestic sphere.’33 The courée made communality and mutual surveillance practically unavoidable, while the rhythms of domestic life were aligned by the routine of the factory. The close proximity of domestic and productive space was critical for this. Stable collectives could therefore emerge related to their role in production. The factory was the lynchpin of the industrial block and therefore the collapse of the industrial economy in Lille was catastrophic for this construct. Today the industrial block is Post-Industrial. I use this term not to describe the primacy of a tertiary economy, but to describe a condition of loss and disenfranchisement brought about by the flight of industry – it is an imposed condition, not a chosen one. The Courée, failing contemporary living standards, has either been demolished for reasons of sanitation, renovated, or become the residence of the underprivileged who are commonly North-African immigrants, the elderly or poor families. Some disused factories have been renovated but many are dilapidated and abandoned. Those that have been demolished are
replaced with housing, not employment. The bourgeois (now middle class) have left for the suburbs. This has left working-class neighbourhoods impoverished and stigmatised. The abandonment of the industrial block is what has made it post-industrial. The industrial block was the essential element of Lille’s industrial métropole. The architectural types of bourgeois house, courée, usine hall* (hall-type factory) and usine ferme* (farm-type factory) combined to create productive diagrams that were repeated throughout Lille’s Haussmannian urban structure. The aggregate of these created stable collectives and classes. The contemporary post-industrial condition has broken these as economic constructs and created entire neighbourhoods of stigma and loss.
Typological definitions for factories taken from Grenier, L’Archéologie Industrielle: Quelles Usines Protéger.
30. Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000), 2. 31. Michael Miller, The representation of place: urban planning and protest in France and Great Britain, 1950-1980 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 87. 32. Jacques Donzelot, Policing of Families (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1979), 42. 33. Miller, The representation of place, 87.
The Usine Hall*
The Usine Ferme*
Vauban Plan for Lille, Bibliothèque municipale de Lille.
Plan of Lille following the annexation of 1858, by Malte-Brun, Archives municipales de Lille
Lille’s original plan was laid out by Vauban, France’s celebrated military engineer. Accordingly, the city was heavily fortified, and an agrarian life took place outside its limits.
The city expanded dramatically in the middle of the 19th century, as the textile industry grew. Fortifications were demolished and extended in order for this to take place.
Industrial and Commercial plan of Lille ca 1900, Archives municipales de Lille
Contemporary plan of Lille, Bing Maps 2014
At the beginning of the 20th century, the textile industry dominated both Lille’s economy, and the southern half of the city. It is notable that much industry remained within the (now redundant) city wall.
The knowledge economy has been built largely outside ‘the triangle’. Fortifications have been torn down and replaced with transport infrastructure, maintaining the historical barrier between the centre and periphery.
Industry in Roubaix and Tourcoing. Extract of board no. 2, ‘Lille-Roubaix-Toucoing’, edited by the Société de Documentation Industrielle, Paris, 1929. Archives du Musée d’Histoire Naturelle, Lille.
‘îlot Crèpy’, Napoleonic Cadastral Parcels, Lille 1881. Archives Départmentales du Nord.
Industrial Productive Diagram
School Factory Owner Bourgeois Housing/Shops
Children play together and attend the same school
More reliable workforce, audible factory whistle.
Patriarchical relationship. Owner provides loans. Wife visits for funerals and weddings.
The Industrial Block & its Constituents 63
Entry to Cour De Pologne
Living space view/access into cour
Living space extends into cour for children/chores with small graden serving as privacy barrier
Cour as space for collective events such as wedding receptions and funerals and as space of collective refu during for instance labour union protests.
Cour de Pologne 65
Cité de 4 Chemins
Voie Communale Morelle
Voie Communale Lobeau
Courées in the Îlot Citroën
Courée in Wazemmes Working Class Housing ca 1900 1870 sqm (GFA) Architect Unknown
Circulation 474 sqm 38%
Living space 743 sqm 60%
Floor plan Footprint 1255 sqm
The Courée 67
How can Lilleâ€™s industrial types, including its unique parcellation, lead an improved spatial formation of its knowledge economy?
Industrial-scale Mixed-use 69
2.2 The Post-Industrial Block
I will explore the post-industrial block in more detail with a close look at one example, the Îlot Citroën in Wazemmes, where I located the Urban Corporate Campus. This collection of blocks features all of the architectural types mentioned in the previous chapter, as well as elements of re-use, renovation, abandonment, demolition and speculative development. It is currently the subject of a disappointing masterplan (right), highlighting the way in which opportunities such as these are being squandered, at the same time that farmland is being re-zoned on the periphery. As I mentioned earlier, Wazemmes is one of several poorer, post-industrial suburbs in Lille and so the Îlot Citroën is paradigmatic of a broader metropolitan condition. A breakdown of the block reveals the following: Source: Lille Métropole.
01. Re-use of a usine ferme* as a technical high school The École Professionnelle des Industries Lilloises is situated within an old spinning and weaving factory. This technical high school prepares students for work such as the maintenance of industrial equipment through handson courses and apprenticeships post-graduation. The ferme type of factory in which it is located is distinguished by the clustering of the buildings around a central courtyard. These factories were often breweries and the like, built to a higher quality that today lends itself to adaptive re-use. Other examples of usine ferme re-use nearby are the Wazemmes and Moulins culture centres built for the 2004 European Capital of Culture. 02. Planned demolitions of dilapidated usines hall* Both recently-built and older hall-type factories lie abandoned and boarded-up. In many cities, one of these buildings would be an opportunity for creative re-use. However, there are so many in Lille (and of varying quality) that this possibility has been exhausted. The demolition of hall-type factories is one of the key opportunities for the ‘mutation’ of contemporary Lille from a post-industrial to a tertiary economy. The current masterplan mooted for the replacement of these buildings lacks ambition and any dialogue with its immediate context. It is a bland subdivision around a new street, and specifies very little else than building heights. However, a planned crèche and public park do indicate government investment in this area.
03. Re-use of one usine hall as a Hamam and another as an architect’s office A smaller usine hall has been re-used as a hamam. This reflects the strong Muslim presence in the neighbourhood coupled with service sector entrepreneurship. The intervention creates rich spatial experiences of the back of the block from the rooftop carpark, under cover of the old factory roof. Another usine hall has been converted into an architects office.
04.Demolition of usines hall for speculative residential development In other parts of the block, factories have already been replaced with speculative residential development. This appears to be the most common scenario in Lille, certainly in Wazemmes, and indicates that without state intervention the productive diagram of the industrial block becomes a residential one once industry departs. The newer housing has a higher price and quality than the surrounding existing dwellings, and is therefore a potential force of gentrification.
05. Renovated Courées The courée fails contemporary living standards, and many in this block are under renovation. The building work often adds space, either through joining two units together, or simply through the addition of a winter garden in what was previously the front yard. The bare minimum is the introduction of in-door sanitary facilities. Courées are often the residence of the underprivileged who are commonly North-African immigrants, the elderly or poor families.
06. Social Housing Other social housing is also nearby, accommodating similar demographics to the courée.
Proposed Demolition for the Productive Arcade
The ĂŽlot CitroĂŤn 1:2000
07. Bourgeois Housing While many of the middle class have moved to the suburbs, the bourgeois-type house continues to frame Lille’s streets and to give structure to post-industrial blocks. Many are punctuated at ground level with entries to courées beyond. Others accommodate low-rent retail such as grocery stores, kebab shops, hair dressers and discount telephone shops.
The Îlot Citroën is an extremely rich residential agglomeration, featuring a school (and planned crèche), housing for residents of various incomes (right) and a variety of retail and services. However, despite this, and further to the preceding chapter, the productive context that it housed in the industrial period has found no contemporary equivalent. It remains post-industrial. It is precisely this condition that I propose to address through re-thinking the way in which Sites d’Excellence are developed. The post-industrial block is therefore central to this dissertation as a social condition, type and found artefact. It is the sole construct through which Lille’s industrial, post-industrial and tertiary economies can form a dialogue. I posit that the post-industrial block holds a three-fold potential. Firstly, as a site of disenfranchisement it should become the primary place of intervention by the welfare state. Secondly, the unique form, structure and redundant parts of the post-industrial block offer an opportunity for live/work neighbourhoods that is unique among European cities and today being squandered. Thirdly, that the limits imposed by these blocks offer an armature for a better socio-spatial formulation of contemporary productive space (and in particular Sites d’Excellence), one that can generate amenities that are in turn shared by the neighbourhood. If the state is to invest in economic development, it should be here.
Top Courée Residents. Source: Grand Lille TV Wazemmes Residents. Source: Grand Lille TV
Industrial Productive Diagram
The factory was the lynchpin of the industrial block, organising a productive diagram that included the capitalist, the working class and the bourgeois.
With the departure of the factory, the productive diagram is diminished.
Relationship Amenity Business/Service Dilapidated Household Children
Industrial to Post-Industrial Productive Diagram
The Îlot Crèpy
Ex-industrial sites in Wazemmes
2.3 Better Sites d’Excellence in Post-Industrial Blocks
If through economic development the post-industrial block is to become a vehicle for social development, economic regeneration and amenity then the way in which Sites d’Excellence are conceived needs to be re-thought. The geography of Lille’s Parallel Métropole implies through its compartmentalisation (zoning) that productive forms of co-existence are best achieved through isolation and exclusion: that plurality, égalité and fraternité do not fit with the uniformity demanded of a market-directed productive environment. This is the zero-sum game presented by government: we can have social mixing or we can have economic development but we can’t have both together. Investment in cultural events, sporting facilities, retail environments and urban amenity such as parks (quality of life) has attempted to reconcile this false dichotomy in other ways but fails to tackle it head-on. An alternative is possible where improved constellations of business are catalysed by the post-industrial block, which in turn leads to better social outcomes. Lille’s Parallel Metropole is a geographical tool of segregation entered willingly into by a middle class who desire to be with people ‘like them’. The branded community and synergy of technopoles is a standard for rallying sameness. The gates, arterial roads and landscape buffers are a means of delineating it. As Richard Sennett has observed: The image of the community is purified of all that may convey a feeling of difference, let alone conflict, in who ‘we’ are. In this way the myth of community solidarity is a purification ritual… What is distinctive about this mythic sharing in communities is that people feel they belong to each other, and share together, because they are the same… The ‘we’ feeling, which expresses the desire to be similar, is a way for men to avoid the necessity of looking deeper into each other.34 Margaret Kohn sums it up: ‘Communal space promises the pleasures of sociability without the discomforts of the unfamiliar.’35 This is best evidenced through the aloof uniformity of the Sites d’Excellence. Architecture is reassuringly plain, yet it remains separated by
landscaping and carparks. The private car removes any need to enter the contested space in between, adjacent arterial roads (rather than commercial high streets) ensure this. Geographical arguments of clustering become biographical practices of individualism. It is a marketed desire for synergy with a lived practice of isolation. As I showed earlier, it is therefore questionable how effectively these spaces work as contexts for knowledge. If, as Ali Madanipour argues, knowledge ‘is embedded in socio-temporal-spatial contexts and is embodied in intelligent human bodies’ and is ‘subject to change when these contexts change’, what kind of contexts for knowledge are created by isolation?36 The short answer is that, other than some instances mentioned below, Lille’s technopoles do not function as contexts for knowledge. They are indifferent to it. Christine Liefooghe summarises that: The ‘Sites d’Excellence’ are attractive for their architectural offer and the services they propose, in terms of an image of prestige and an address that implies dynamism however the occupation of these sites remains too recent to have created the dynamic of a cluster or further that of an innovative milieu.37 These words are too generous. Euralille is 20 years old, while the urban forms of Haute Borne and Eurasanté will likely never catalyse an innovative milieu. They are addressing something else. What remains to be achieved in Lille is a compelling proposition of an innovative milieu, of a construct and context for knowledge. Claims that collective isolation builds synergy are spurious. Further to this, it is strangely artificial to group businesses from a single industry together, and even countersynergetic. Indeed, it is a policy that many governments are moving away from.38 Cofidis Consumer Finance is an offshoot of one of Lille’s distance-selling companies, 3 Suisses. Why should Cofidis locate with other banks? And as this same distance selling is challenged by e-commerce, could it not benefit from collaborations
with IT entrepreneurs such as those at Euratechnologies? Powerful opportunities for synergy exist across sectors. Indeed, advice from Chicago’s ‘Innovation District’ is not to play ‘sector favourites’ or to provide financial incentives at all. This is because ‘government isn’t great at picking winners’.39 Conceiving technopoles in a functional strait-jacket does not necessarily aid economic development, as experience from Haute Borne has shown. So where does this leave the goals of social benefit, economic regeneration and amenity? Rather than seeing the three as separate issues, the state should frame its interventions in post-industrial blocks in a way that explicitly addresses each of these aims. In their paper, ‘Constructing Regional Advantage’, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma and Philip Cooke discuss policy approaches that ‘cleverly seek to achieve more than one outcome with a single instrument.’40 This means, for example, that: a policy to conserve heritage buildings could be justified and incentivised by converting them to older citizen housing which elevated their sociability opportunities while diminishing transportation energy use, minimising already moderate emissions and creating new care jobs that raised female labour market participation.41 This is undoubtedly ambitious. However, what emerges is the socio-spatial narrative related to each intervention: that a single ‘lead policy’ can leverage a range of positive results. A lateral awareness is required to make this possible through understanding, for example, that an intervention with an economic aim can have a social outcome. Indeed, it is the argument of this dissertation that the opportunity for such an effect is being squandered. Social benefit from economic development can be achieved through employment or through services and amenities. As I showed with the Urban Corporate Campus there are some businesses that may have a social impact due to their low skill level, directly creating new employment opportunities. However, this is only one path, and one that is contrary to metropolitan goals of high-skill, high value-added economic development. Regardless of knowledge intensity, indirect benefits from economic development can be achieved through amenities such as a school, crèche, gym, mediatheque, parks, sports facilities and community gardens. The Urban Corporate Campus introduced a park and school grounds. The policy of encouraging economic development in post-industrial blocks can very easily stray into normative
discussions of attractiveness. Indeed, this seems to be the affliction of the current Sites d’Excellence where the lowest-common-denominator tactics of generic branding, plentiful parking and cheap land are leveraged to attract like-minded businesses. The results are underwhelming, and serve simply as repositories for companies that don’t want to try harder. In the place of this, I propose to take seriously the task of creating settings for business that function as constructs and contexts for knowledge. That is, agglomerations that through sharing of facilities and services, mutual awareness and interaction, open the possibility to create and maintain connections between companies at the level of the individual. Urbanity is the only way to achieve this. This can be seen when the technopole and metropolis have been contrasted in academic literature to show that major metropolises have historically been, and continue to be, more effective at bringing people together in economically effective ways.42 This is in part due to the density of social networks that make sharing of knowledge easier.43 The American Institute of Architects and Brookings Institute support this view, but brand their version ‘Innovation Districts’.44 More precise work has been put forward by Gerald Carlino et al. in their study of the agglomeration of R&D labs.45 This revealed two distinct proximities that had a measurable effect on relationships between enterprises. The first and the most effective is a distance of one quarter mile (400m) or a 5 minute walk. This is the width of the Îlot Citroën. The second is 40 miles (64kms) or the scale of the labour market pool and the metropolis. The authors found that when R&D labs cluster at these two scales they are substantially more productive in terms of the patents they receive. These figures are not surprising as walking distance and the labour market pool are natural points of exchange, but they serve well as clear frames through which to evaluate the geography of innovation. What emerges from this is that while suburban technopoles allow for metropolitan scales of synergy, they fall short at the scale of the pedestrian. Further, the suburban logic of Lille’s Sites d’Excellence often discourages walking altogether. There is clearly room for improvement in the formulation of Sites d’Excellence. This is most salient when levelled as a criticism of their effectiveness as contexts for knowledge, caused by overblown scale, poor architecture, unfocussed programming and car dependency. Improved business clustering is a lead policy that advances metropolitan economic development goals while also undermining the current strategies used to achieve them such as peripheral development. The post-industrial block is an excellent armature for this policy as it defines limits and a scale that has been shown to be effective for
building contexts for knowledge. Beyond this, and more importantly, the post-industrial block opens the potential for Sites D’Excellence to have a social impact through employment opportunities, services and amenities. These can be strategized as socio-spatial narratives that accompany and inform a lead policy. These narratives are specific to context, and so are best identified through the three design projects in this dissertation, the second of which is the Co-working Courée.
34. Richard Sennett, ‘The Myth of a Purified Community’, in The Community Development Reader, ed. J. DeFilippis and S. Saegert (London: Routledge, 2008), 175. 35. Margaret Kohn, ‘Political Theory and Urban Design’ in Companion to Urban Design, ed. Tridib Banerjee and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris (Oxon: Routledge, 2011), 186. 36. Madanipour, Knowledge Economy and the City, 89. Christine Liefooghe, ‘Lille Métropole : de la reconversion industrielle aux défis de l’économie de la connaissance et de la créativité’ in Didier Paris, Dominique Mons 37. and Christine Liefooghe, Vivre Ensemble dans l’espace métropolitain: Nouveaux liens, nouveaux lieux, nouveaux territoires (Lille: Plateforme d’Observation des Projets et Stratégies Urbaines, 2013), 74. 38. Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma and Philip Cooke, ‘Constructing regional advantage: Platform policies based on related variety and differentiated knowledge bases’, 21. 39. American Institute of Architects, Cities as a Lab: Designing the Innovation Economy, 2013, 29. 40. Asheim, Boschma and Cooke, ‘Constructing regional advantage’, 22. 41. Asheim, Boschma and Cooke, ‘Constructing regional advantage’, 22. 42. Castells and Hall, Technopoles of the World, 144. 43. Madanipour, Knowledge Economy and the City, 150. 44. American Institute of Architects, Cities as a Lab, 17. Bruce Katz and Julie Wagner, The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America (Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institute, May 2014). 45. Gerald Carlino et al., The Agglomeration of R&D Labs (Philadelphia: Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 2011), 0.
Aerial view of central Lille. Source: LIlle MÃ©tropole.
Project: The Co-working Courée
An existing architectural model for improved business clustering is the co-working spaces found in each of the Sites d’Excellence and in many other similar projects throughout France (over page). These are the strongest precedents for business clustering in the Métropole, and an exception to the rule of isolationist, arrayed urban dispositions within the parks themselves. A scale comparison between the courée, the co-working laboratory at Haute Borne and generic standards for combi-office design shows that the three are remarkably similar in scale and disposition, even interchangeable (over page). This raises the possibility of using the historic development strategy and organisation of the courée as a device for creating improved constellations of productive space that in turn catalyses amenities that are made available to the neighbourhood. The second design project of this dissertation, the Co-working Courée, takes this up using the smaller scale, high-tech businesses of Haute Borne as the program. Rather than using the site of an abandoned factory, this project recognises the unique potential of the courée to be introduced in seemingly ‘saturated’ urban settings. In what way can the historical strategy of the courée be used to create improved ‘productive constellations’ within ‘saturated’ post-industrial blocks?
This project uses the industrial model of the Courée as a way of thinking through an economic milieu on fully developed urban land. This achieves a degree of integration that is unthinkable through large-scale suburban development, and opens the potential for a variety of actors to become resident. The proposal puts the small business in focus, creating a framework for their presence and inhabitation within existing blocks. While the small business has been the focus of much idealised writing on the knowledge economy, equating entrepreneurship with high-skill, high value-added enterprise, it is also equally applicable to lower-skill and service industries such as a hamam, import/export, travel agent or hair dresser. The location and scale opens the program to a wider variety of economic upstarts than Haute Borne. Through the strategic introduction of shared facilities, intermingling is encouraged between inhabitants. By finding innovative ways of making adjacent land owners potentially profit from the development it suggests ways of being an alternative to gentrification.
HUB CRÉATIC, Nantes, 2014
MADAN PARK BUILDING, Monte da Caparica, Almada, Portugal, 2008
BIOPÔLE, Technopole Rennes Atalante-Champeaux, 2013
BUSINESS INCUBATOR, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal, 2007
BUSINESS INCUBATOR IN DISUSED PAPER FACTORY, Pont-Audemer, France, 2013
MIGUEL DE EGUÍA DE ESTELLA TECHNOLOGICAL CENTER, Estella, Navarra, Spain, 2011
BIO INCUBATEUR, Eurasanté, Lille, France, 2002
Co-working Spaces in French Business Parks
ologn de P
rne te Bo
, Hau g Lab
01. Co-working, Combi-office, Courée 85
are te Sh
03. Extension 87
Tower as part of large scale modernist ensemble.
Office tower as concentration of knowledge workers.
Fragment of historical Lille.
Inhabitation of the interior of the block.
Office as part of sprawling business park.
Office as low-cost, flexible space.
Lift core as linking element of striated space. Laid on side.
Couree is widened, and the central space is programmed.
Narrower floor plates for better light and amenity.
Horizontal core activates low-cost interior.
Central space becomes space of interaction and collectivity.
Building conforms to planning code.
Typological Transformations 89
List of competencies (as listed) Republikken Co-working
Disaggregated Shared Facilities
Accountancy Analogue & Digital Media
ANZ Bank Headquarters, Melbourne. HASSELL Architects, 2010. Australias largest single-tenant ofÀce. Example of contemporary Büro Landschaft from SoÀa Borges, Workscape : new spaces for new work, 2013
Anthropology Architecture Art + Culture Café/Restaurant
Author Branding Business Development Communication Design Copy Writer
Foyer, Lounge & Meeting
Facilitation Film/TV Telepresence
Gastronomy Graphic Design Idea & Concept Illustration Large Meeting
Industrial Design Interactive Design Journalism Market Analysis Presentation Space
Photographer Process Leadership Product Design Production
Medium Meeting (3)
Public Relations Quality Surveys Workshop
Quantity Surveyor Sound Speed Drawing
Urban Design Web + Video Medium Meeting
European Union definitions for Small and Medium Business
Medium Enterprises Up to 250 Workers or € 50m euro turnover
OfÀce: Medium Enterprise
Small Companies Up to 50 Workers or € 10m euro turnover OfÀce: Small Company
OfÀce: Small Company
Micro-Entity Less than 10 Workers or € 2m euro turnover OfÀce/Project Space
OfÀce: Micro Entity
Individual* Single Person OfÀce: Micro Entity/Individuals
Lifestyle worker, Entrepreneur or Freelancer
OfÀce: Micro Entity/Individuals *Non-EU deÀnition
Drawing Descriptions In this example, the office tower, courée and dom-ino office are transformed in order to be introduced into the post-industrial block (Typological Transformations). Following this, a Bürolandschaft-type office building is disaggregated with a view to isolating shared spaces such as meeting rooms, lecture spaces, galleries, workshops or telepresence, and to develop office space appropriate to the scale of small enterprise (previous spread). This creates a toolkit that can be deployed on individual sites (right). The toolkit is recombined opportunistically on individual sites, according to available space, program, market forces and landowner idiosyncrasies and tastes. The development strategy encourages private land owners to build small sections, allowing for existing residents to extract economic gains or to extend into this new structure. Through the shared services, central space for appropriation and discrete space for small enterprise, communality and interaction amongst businesses is encouraged (over page). This will multiply to gradually inhabit the neighbourhood, which is currently dominated by residential use. Summary of Brief 01. Introduce a series of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into the ‘saturated’ urban fabric of Wazemmes in a way that encourages communality between them. 02. Use the structure of the courée/co-working office as a basis. 03. Make this project open to local entrepreneurs, including lower-skilled ones. Typological Transformation Courée, Dom-ino Office, Post-Industrial Block
at in g
W or ks ho p
Un sp e
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The courée is configured responding to the geometry of cadastral parcels.
Program is introduced into the central zone that responds to adjacent workspace.
Boundary: Office and Support
Office: Medium Enterprise
Foyer, Lounge & Meeting
Office: Small Company
Office: Small Company
Office: Micro Entity
Offices: Micro Entity/Individuals
Infill: Support Shared support facilities are introduced in response to office mix and tenancy.
Medium Meeting (3)
1. State State buys first parcel and builds upon it.
2. Private + State Private land owners decide to generate own income and build according to design guide on their own land. State provides central strip.
3. Private Private land owners decide to generate own income by building onto infrastructure already in place.
4. Private + State Private land owners decide to generate own income by building onto infrastructure already in place. State provides central strip.
Network Lecture Hall Gallery
Disaggregated offices creates rich opportunities for informal interaction between businesses. Both through movement paths and shared facilities. The central isle becomes a formal setting that facilitates this.
Phasing & Networking
S M ¤
Productive Diagram The Co-working Courée brings a number of services and amenities together with small business, in a model that develops relationships with adjacent bourgeois houses.
Socio-spatial Narrative 2
The Co-working Courée A policy of economic development in post-industrial blocks is used to build improved constellations of small and medium enterprise through shared facilities and complimentary programming. By building to the rear of existing plots, as the courée was historically developed, existing land owners can extract economic gains from this development or themselves tap into this new construct. Small plot sizes open up this structure to entrepreneurs in both high and low skill businesses, while increased development intensity means new services are viable that can be shared by the surrounding neighbourhood.
Production as a Social Catalyst
Large Meeting Space
Small business - retail Small business - services Small business - technology Medium enterprise Low income family Elderly Technical High School Student Low-skill north African Middle-class
Points of Exchange
3.1 Politicising the Productive Diagram
The Post-Urban elements of Lille Métropole, that is the Parallel Métropole, follow the smooth logic of many contemporary cities: a logic of capital flows, cheap land, traffic networks and managerial efficiency. This is a city whose governance exists to get out of the way – essentially a technician to ensure that the cogs of the capitalist apparatus it hosts are oiled. Henri LeFebvre labelled this ‘abstract’ space as the space of capital.46 The government that creates abstract space absolves itself of social agency and instead creates conditions for the market to make decisions on its behalf. As I discussed earlier, government –led development on isolated greenfield sites in Lille makes the state complicit in the creation of productive diagrams that are stripped of any response to the post-industrial malaise that continues to grip many neighbourhoods. The post-urban is apolitical, as are Lille’s Sites d’Excellence – following a legacy and logic that can be traced back to Euralille as a monument to trans-national capital. My claim is that it is beneficial to consider the economic project that follows metropolitan development and the social project that follows postindustrialism not just as compatible, but mutually advantageous. That a politicised productive diagram, that is, one put towards the social goals of the métropole, is more effective than the apolitical one. The apolitical flows of global capitalism have been equated with a particular urban logic and form by Pier Vittorio Aureli, against which he has also identified a potential structure of resistance. In The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, Aureli tracks this back to Roman urbs, an expansionary, colonial logic that in its uniformity was potentially infinite: ‘urbs came to designate a universal and generic condition of cohabition [...]’47 It was an order imposed to assimilate, administer and control a particular population. He sees a reflection of this in the contemporary city that ‘has become a shopping mall, where value-free pluralism and diversity – the totalising features of its space – have made urbanisation the perfect space of mass voluntary servitude to the apolitical democracy imposed by the market.’48 Aureli’s answer is the imposition of limits, understanding the city not as a system but as an archipelago, drawing from the famous study of Berlin by O.M. Ungers.49 Under this structure,
the city is understood as a series of islands whose interstitial space exists precisely because conflict is anticipated. Architecture takes centre stage here, for it is through the project that limits are set. ‘Political space [in a physical sense] is made into the institutions of politics precisely because the existence of the space in between presupposes potential conflict among the parts that form it.’50 The antithesis of the economic managerial smooth city is the political archipelago. This ultimately creates an ‘agonistic experience of the city’.51 Parallel Lille is a system of branded communities, an apolitical archipelago. Limits have been set, but frame indifference, smoothness, sameness. Therefore it is not the imposition of limits that is required, so much as a better, more inclusive and even a more conflictual understanding of what these limits frame. In the Urban Corporate Campus, where a park is framed by a corporate campus, varied user groups are implied but remain at arms-length to one another, less cooperation than coexistence. Interaction is limited by the relationship a corporate campus can realistically have with a park, and with other neighbourhood residents. The Co-working Courée proposes deeper relationships, made possible through the agglomeration of smaller-scale buildings around an intimately-scaled laneway. The shared condition of ‘entrepreneur’ establishes commonalities, whatever the skill level, while communal services and amenities catalyse dialogue and interaction. Within both of these projects greater potential for interaction is created through greater control over space. In fact, this is what Lille’s Sites d’Excellence deliver – control of space – however, they achieve this largely without promoting the greater level of interaction that is possible as a result. The realignment of Lille’s economic fortunes, and that of its constituents, essentially comes down to the re-calibration of the workforce to Lille’s new place in a globalised economy. This is clearly a difficult and unending project, one that confronts varying skill/ education levels, language difficulties, racism and stigma. However, as a welfare concern it remains the role of the state for this project to be proactively made open, particularly to those who suffered most as industry
moved away. As I argued above, this can be done directly through appropriately-skilled jobs, or indirectly through opening service and amenity benefits created by highskill jobs to those yet to find their place in this new order, or those precariously building one within it. Amongst other things, the post-industrial block becomes the frame of a more inclusive understanding of the productive subject. Paolo Virno suggests how this project necessarily extends beyond the productive sphere into the domestic: We might well ask what the software engineer has in common with the Fiat worker, or with the temporary worker. We must have the courage to answer: precious little, with regard to job description, to professional skills, to the nature of the labour process. But we can answer: everything, with regard to the make-up and contents of the socialisation of single individuals outside the workplace.52 It is therefore precisely the services and amenities that are made possible by a concentration of businesses that then become core to forming associations between workers of various backgrounds and skill levels, as well as within the neighbourhood they are located. This creates an alternative context for knowledge that cuts across class and skill. It is one grounded in the collectives gathered by a crèche, sports club or community garden. This results in multiple, overlapping collectives, aligning with Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of ‘an emergent unity which is a joint achievement of the agents engaged in self-identification pursuits, a unity which is an outcome, not an a priori given condition, of shared life, a unity put together through negotiation and reconciliation, not the denial, stifling or smothering out of differences.’53 This version of communality is starkly different to the clearly defined roles of the industrial era. As Ulrich Beck observed: ‘It is possible to cheerfully embrace seemingly contradictory causes, for example, to join forces with local residents in protests against noise pollution by air traffic, to belong to the Metalworkers Union, and yet – in the face of impending economic crisis – to vote conservative.’54 The design does not, therefore, address the individual, but the various collectives in which they selectively participate.
The architectural project that follows from this both removes barriers to building relationships and provides ‘nodes’ around which collectives can gather and intermingle. This is both a programmatic and architectural task. As I showed earlier, the courée is a better place for this than the corporate campus for a number of reasons. To begin with, the aggregation of businesses into the more intimate scale of the courée brings people into closer contact, opening up more opportunities for interaction. The introverted orientation of the architecture reinforces this. A series of shared amenities and services act as new nodes that cut across enterprise, and can also become the foundation for relationships with the adjacent neighbourhood. The development strategy involves adjacent land owners in a way that they control, opening a relationship with the immediate context of the block. A setting is therefore created for multiple, overlapping collectives in both productive and domestic spheres. Placing greater control on innovation environments, through removal of cars for instance, can make relationships between individuals increasingly possible through more open facades, more relaxed attitudes to delineation of space, appropriation and sharing of facilities. Environmental control, of the kind found in corporate atriums and airports, takes this a step further allowing for the limits of private and shared space to be blurred. The final project, the Productive Arcade, attempts to take this thinking and some of the strategies of the courée to their logical extreme as a space that maximises the possibilities of exchange amongst individuals and the quantity and quality of nodes of communality. In the smooth, apolitical space of the tertiary economy in contemporary Lille, this thesis argues for the reestablishment of a political project through developing the common ground shared by the economic and social projects facing Lille. This attempts to address the fact that the central challenge of the knowledge economy ‘is to combat and reduce social inequality’.55 It requires a reframing of the role of government to become a curator of relations, enacted by the delineation of privileged spaces for economic (and social) development. In these spaces, the services and amenities that are made possible by a concentration of businesses become core to common socialisations between workers. The rich context of
the post-industrial block provides a further collection of groups who can also benefit from these, as well as other amenities such as shops. The result is a context for knowledge that cuts across class and skill. It is one grounded in the collectives gathered by a school, a sports club or an allotment garden. Rather than the single, fixed diagram that was produced in the industrial era, this is a productive diagram of multiple collectives.
46. Henri Lefebvre, extract from The Production of Space in Architecture Theory Since 1968 ed. K. Michael Hays (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1998), 174. 47. Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011), 6. 48. Aureli, Absolute Architecture, 20. 49. Ungers, Oswald Mathias et al, The City in the City/Berlin: A Green Archipelago, Critical edition by Florian Hertweck and Sebastian Marot (Zurich: Lars Muller Publishers, 2013) 50. Aureli, Absolute Architecture, 3. 51. Aureli, Absolute Architecture, 42. 52. Paolo Virno, A Grammar of the Multitude (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2004), 105. 53. Bauman, Liquid Modernity, 178. 54. Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (London: Sage Publications, 1992), 101. 55. Madanipour, Knowledge Economy and the City, 225.
New Arcades in Post-Industrial Sites in Wazemmes
Arcades In Rive Droit, Paris. Source: Geist.
Project: The Productive Arcade
The lead policy I have proposed is improved clustering of businesses through using post-industrial blocks as socio-spatial armatures. The final design project develops some of the themes of the Co-working Courée (including the street as space of appropriation and exchange and clustering of diverse enterprise) and brings these into the sites of demolished usines hall in a more ambitious way. To do this it develops the historical model and structure of the arcade into a place for business, a Productive Arcade. Walter Benjamin argued that the arcade created the bourgeois class through facilitating, amongst other things, window shopping.56 It was a microcosm created for the consumer. Johann Friedrich Geist detailed some of the mechanics of this: ‘The arcade came into fashion because the street still existed in its medieval state. It had no sidewalk, was dirty, and was too dangerous for promenading and window shopping.’57 Lille’s contemporary urban condition is not dissimilar to that found in 19th century Paris, though for very different reasons. In the post-revolutionary capital, large tracts of land to the interior of blocks had been reclaimed from the aristocracy during the uprising (left, below). In contemporary Lille, it is the abandoned factories that create these opportunities (left,above). And as I have shown, there is not one class or demographic, but many. Traditionally, the arcade facilitated the activation and regularisation of the interior of blocks. By closing itself off from its surroundings it created a consumer microcosm that related only to the street network of the city. For my proposal, I introduce a direct relationship with the immediate context of the post-industrial block. By
removing the rear wall, column spacing and arcade height are put in dialogue with adjacent buildings, proactively framing the empty space between the new build and the context. The glass roof is replaced with a solid one and side lighting, allowing for better management of natural light and more effective interior climate control. Environmental controls allow for adjoining buildings to relate in ways not possible on a regular street, and the varied plot sizes and programs behind ensure a mix of occupants. Columns are freed to be used as subtle spatial dividers and an alternative framing system is introduced to handle this (DIAGRAM). In this example, the courée on the left is extended into a live work unit that opens into and appropriates part of the arcade. On the right, new dom-ino offices are built to the rear of bourgeois housing and the interstices are used for community gardens and recreation space. The bucolic ideal is replaced by a productive reality. Seasonal routine is intermingled with the daily one of the workspace (DIAGRAM). The arcade is therefore a scaffold for development, framing and organising relationships between the post-industrial block and new productive units. This logic is applied strategically, but ultimately opportunistically across the block (DIAGRAM). At the block scale, the figure of the arcade becomes a framing device that determines the range of plot sizes, and therefore company sizes to be introduced (FIGURE). Government leadership of the project allows community services to claim appropriate siting, and for existing services such as the high school, or social welfare projects such as the courée, to have first right of refusal on opportunities for renovation and extension.
Above: Bon MarchĂŠ, Paris Ca1880. Source: Geist. Left: Public Space Investment at Haute Borne
1. Example: Galerie St Hubert, Brussels. Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer, 1847.
2. Consideration of Immediate Conext
3. Response to Immediate Conext
4. Dialogue, Renovation, Extension
Transforming the Arcade 109
Summary of Brief
The enclosure of communal space opens the question of who manages it, and to what end. This was clear in the arcade, built by speculators to engage consumers, which in turn placed a premium on shop rents. It was a simple financial equation. The alternative, Productive Arcade proposed here shares more in its administration to the Bazaar. It is imagined as a public service, much like the complex of enclosed spaces (mosque, madrasa, bazaar and bath) that traditionally formed the heart of the Muslim city.58 These spaces, while public, each required a code of behaviour that was enforced. The bazaar was administered by its own officials, using rents from units to maintain the collective structure which had been built initially by philanthropic bequest. A similar system is possible here where government establishes productive arcades alongside a managerial committee whose costs are covered by rents. This is as an alternative to current metropolitan investment in the roads and landscaping of Sites d’Excellence and the ensuing debate about who will bear the cost of maintenance.59
1.Introduce an arcade as a way of activating the rear of post-industrial blocks. 2.Introduce both large and small companies. 3.Provide amenities that are shared between the neighbourhood and the new businesses. Typological Transformation The Arcade, The Post-Industrial Block
56. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999). 57. Johann Friedrich Geist, Arcades: The History of a Building Type (Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1983), 62. 58. Geist, Arcades, 5. 59. Interview with Marie Chamboll, May 2014
Mediathèque Socio-spatial Narrative 3
The Productive Arcade A policy of economic development in post-industrial blocks is used to build a more inclusive setting for the productive subject and a better social outcome for the immediate neighbourhood. This is achieved through a ‘scaffold’ provided by the state in the form of an arcade, as well as the introduction of a number of amenities and services. A variety of plot sizes opens this up to a variety of actors, as does an inclusive development process. The armature of the arcade allows for the development of a number of sub socio-spatial narratives which are nested within this larger structure.
The Productive Arcade Multiple, overlapping communalities characterise the productive arcade.
3 4 5 3
1 ing er nd Re
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8. Courée Extension*
2. Co-working Lab
9. Small Businesses*
3. Crèche & Preschool*
4. EPIL Extension
12. Bourgeois Dom-ino*
13. Courée Live/Work*
7. Food R&D + Park
* Described in Socio-Spatial Narratives
The Productive Arcade 111
Socio-spatial Narrative 1
Improved Business Clustering in Post-Industrial Blocks
Urban Corporate Campus Low-skill companies are incentivised to locate within Lille’s post-industrial districts as contemporary replacements to the factories that departed. The distance-selling prowess of Cofidis’ parent company, 3Suisses provides a new course for the students of a technical high school in supply chain management. New open green space is maintained as a public asset on the condition that it becomes an amenity such as a public park or school grounds.
Socio-spatial Narrative 2
The Co-working Courée The Courée is used as a model to build improved constellations of small and medium enterprise through shared facilities and complimentary programming. By building to the rear of existing plots, as the courée was historically developed, existing land owners can extract economic gains from this development or themselves tap into this new construct. Small plot sizes open up this structure to entrepreneurs in both high and low skill businesses, while increased development intensity means new services are viable that can be shared by the surrounding neighbourhood.
Socio-spatial Narrative 3
The Productive Arcade The arcade is introduced as a ‘scaffold’ that structures clusters of businesses, services and amenities.A variety of plot sizes opens this up to a variety of actors, as does an inclusive development process. The armature of the arcade allows for the development of a number of sub socio-spatial narratives which are nested within this larger structure.
Potential Socio-spatial Narrative
Greenhouses Greenhouses are used for growing flowers, evegetables and hops in central Lille. These are used to serve a boutique industry for products that are 100% grown in the city, creating jobs at a number of skill levels.
Sub-narrative 3.1 Courée Live/Work Extension Small plots are delineated to the rear of the courée that are used to provide basic sanitary equipment such as toilets as well as further living space. This merges with new work spaces that residents either use themselves or are rented out.
Sub-narrative 3.2 Bourgeois Dom-ino Speculative dom-ino offices are built to the rear of bourgeois housing. Instead of the landscaped lawns and farmland found in the interstices when this is done on the periphery, in between spaces here become collective gardens or recreation space for residents and workers. The bucolic ideal is replaced by a productive reality. Seasonal ritual is intermingled with the daily one of the workspace.
Sub-narrative 3.3 Courée Extension The courée laneway is extended to provide shared facilities that are not available in the small houses themselves, including a common kitchen, dining room and laundry. These facilities, as well as a meeting room/ project space/events space are made available to small businesses located adjacently.
Potential Socio-spatial Narrative
Workshops Just as many car mechanics are located in garages to the rear of blocks, space is made available for light industry to return to the city, for instance in appliance repair, digital fabrication or metal-working.
Sub-narrative 3.4 Mediatheque & Hamam in old Factory The policy of conserving an existing industrial building is used to introduce a mediatheque and a hamam. The mediatheque spreads along and throughout the arcade, animating it. The hamam becomes a social node for residents in the wider neighbourhood.
Sub-narrative 3.5 Crèche and Café A new crèche is built adjacent to a café, enlivening the daily ritual of child dropping off and collection with the possibility of further social interaction through the opportunity to further social interaction.
Table of Socio-Spatial Narratives
3.3 Socio-spatial Narratives
With reference to the work of Asheim, Boschma and Cooke, I have shown that the combination of a lead policy and a socio-spatial narrative can assist in reframing economic development to include social outcomes.60 Following this approach, I outlined a sociospatial narrative for each of the three design schemes. Further narratives can be nested within more ambitious proposals, such as these five found within the Productive Arcade. The lead policy of improved clustering of businesses through using post-industrial blocks as socio-spatial armatures can therefore be seen as the seed of a number of different social outcomes depending on the context of the block, typological strategy/transformation and ambition of the project (left). Positive outcomes are possible with even limited means and ambition, but the more aggressive proposals achieve much more. In the adjacent diagram I have highlighted both the narratives that have been explored through designs in this work, and a number of other narratives that could be explored should this dissertation be expanded. In particular I see room for more focus on the incomplete and transient and in-progress as well as on lower-skill enterprise.
60. Asheim, Boschma and Cooke, â€˜Constructing regional advantageâ€™, 22.
Zoom Plan of Arcade 01 1:250 1
Shared Recreation Space
Sub-narrative 3.1 Courée Live/Work Extension (right, upper) Small plots are delineated to the rear of the courée that are used to provide basic sanitary equipment such as toilets as well as further living space. This merges with new work spaces that residents either use themselves or are rented out.
Sub-narrative 3.2 Bourgeois Dom-ino (right, lower) Speculative dom-ino offices are built to the rear of bourgeois housing. Instead of the landscaped lawns and farmland found in the interstices when this is done on the periphery, in between spaces here become collective gardens or recreation space for residents and workers. The bucolic ideal is replaced by a productive reality. Seasonal ritual is intermingled with the daily one of the workspace.
ge pa er ov ng eri nd Re
Zoom Plan of Arcade 02 1:250 1
Voie Communale Morelle
Small Office Space
Sub-narrative 3.3 Courée Extension (right, lower-left) The courée laneway is extended to provide shared facilities that are not available in the small houses themselves, including a common kitchen, dining room and laundry. These facilities, as well as a meeting room/ project space/events space are made available to small businesses located adjacently.
Sub-narrative 3.4 Mediatheque & Hamam in old Factory (right, lower-right) The policy of conserving an existing industrial building is used to introduce a mediatheque and a hamam. The mediatheque spreads along and throughout the arcade, animating it. The hamam becomes a social node for residents in the wider neighbourhood.
age rp ove g n ri de Ren
Rendering View from the courĂŠe through the shared kitchen into the arcade and the mediatheque. Here a direct connection has been made between low-income residents, shared facilities and a public service, as well as adjacent small business.
Sub-narrative 3.5 Crèche and Café A new crèche is built adjacent to a café, enlivening the daily ritual of child dropping off and collection with the possibility of further social interaction through the opportunity to further social interaction.
EPIL ECOLE P RO DES IND FESSIONNELLE USTRIES LILLOISES
Sectional Axonometric: Creche, CafÃ© and EPIL 123
Single Consolidated Parcel
Redefined & Extended Parcels
School Grounds Park
2 1 2 4
1 2 3 2 1
Parcellation, Communal Space & Phasing 0 100 m
3.4 Framing Contested Space
One of the clear advantages of development on the periphery is the simple phasing, clear management and uniform, if fairly disappointing, standards for architectural and urban quality. As discussed earlier, these devices create perceived community through sameness and separation which mutes opportunities for debate, interaction, appropriation and negotiation between residents. With a move into an urban context, space becomes more contested. Approaches to parcellation, private communal space and phasing all influence how effectively projects engage with the post-industrial block and therefore their impact. Parcellation Historically, it has been the cadastral parcel and planning code that has organised and regularised urban colocation. Even Lille’s idiosyncratic industrial blocks have a cadastre that matches their eclectic agglomeration of architectural types. The social ambition of the three design projects in this dissertation can be differentiated in part through their approach to the cadastral parcel. The Urban Corporate Campus is the safest, simply replacing a demolished factory with a different productive structure. Response to surrounding ownership delineation is limited to facilitating access to the new public park at appropriate points. The social ambition is also limited accordingly. The Co-working Courée engages with the cadastre by using it as a device that is integral to its arrangement, phasing and relationship with the block. The limits of the cadastre allow neighbours to determine their relationship with the Co-working Courée through decisions about their own land. The project nudges them to make more productive use of their lots, while ultimately leaving the decision in their hands. In the Productive Arcade, the ‘spine’ of the courée is developed into an architectural project in its own right. It does not simply respond to the cadastre, but reflexively frames and engages with it. The placement of the arcade within the block requires decisions about the types of parcels to be developed, their relationship with existing buildings and open space, and the possibilities they allow for the development of various kinds of enterprise, service and amenity. The arcade pushes for a renegotiation and/or blurring of cadastral boundaries which in turn facilitates
the most ambitious social project of the three schemes, but one that raises the most questions regarding phasing and management. Engagement with Lille’s industrial parcellation becomes more important as the social ambition is raised. Engagement with parcellation is a critical foundation of both the Co-working Courée and in particular the Productive Arcade. Communal Space There is a critical difference between the Urban Corporate Campus and the two projects that follow it. The Urban Corporate Campus treats the new park with same the logic as the open space in the existing Sites d’Excellence. It is not designed as a context for knowledge, a place for building relationships. It is simply a common amenity – in the same vein as the landscaping at Haute Borne or the wetlands at Eurotechnologies (FIGURE). It is therefore not dissimilar to any other public park. In contrast, the establishment of the Co-working Courée requires the introduction of a third kind of space – communal private space. The ‘spine’ of the courée is the concrete location of state intervention and management, and therefore the reason for this to be a project facilitated by the state. This is developed further in the Productive Arcade. It allows for a different kind of communality than is found either publicly or privately in Lille today. Depending on the adjoining development it can frame various sociospatial narratives, as I detailed in the preceding chapter. While the arcade may seem to be similar to concepts such as the ‘Fourth Space’ put forward by Richard Florida, it is in fact far from it.61 The Productive Arcade is not the apolitical interior of a global coffee chain with sugary supersize lattés, free wifi and a particular brand of resident Creative Class worker but a place of encounter, appropriation and dialogue. It is therefore a different kind of space entirely, curated by the welfare state as a deliberately inclusive social device. The development of private communal space rather than of landscaping and surface car parking is a key re-framing of role I propose for Lille Métropole.
61. Richard Florida, ’The Fourth Space’ in The Daily Beast. www.thedailybeast.com/ articles/2010/07/06/starbucks-offers-free-wifi-and-the-fourth-place-for-work.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.
Phasing Development within the post-industrial block offers unique opportunities in regards to phasing. In one sense, post-industrial blocks are already complete. Construction work and empty sites are concealed to the interior of blocks by the perimeter wall of bourgeois housing. With no exterior façade, the scale and extents of projects are difficult to evaluate and therefore incremental development can be staged in such a way that a project always appears finished – at least from the outside. This is most effectively done in the Co-working Courée where each phase may be its last, and that’s ok. There is no purchased land to make a return on, simply the space for a different kind of communality offered to neighbours of the project. The Productive Arcade takes a more propositional approach to phasing through a designed tension between itself and the existing block. By ‘irrigating’ the block with a scaffold for development, it creates a kind of ‘unfinishedness’ that is designed to provoke a particular response within the interstitial space. Phasing is deliberately problematized. The Urban Corporate Campus enters into a very limited dialogue with its surroundings as the single-phase development strategy allows no cause and effect relationship to develop between the project and its post-industrial context. Phasing affects the kind of dialogue that is entered into with the post-industrial block, and therefore the social ambition of the project.
A LATENT POTENTIAL
This dissertation has introduced two key themes relating to the development of tertiary Lille: the post-urban and the post-industrial. The post-urban was Lille’s response to globalisation – the loss that occurred with the departure of industry, and the opportunity that arrived with the TGV. The Parallel Métropole emerged as a fresh start for a city in crisis. However, it is duplicitous in its presentation and ineffective as a construct and context for knowledge. It does not produce compelling work environments. Meanwhile, despite metropolitan claims of mutation, post-industrial neighbourhoods remain disenfranchised and stigmatised. The post-urban does not address this. This work therefore challenges a number of assumptions made by Lille Métropole: that collective isolation produces effective productive space, that the knowledge economy is a useful frame for economic development, that segregation and branding is necessary to attract business. The city’s assumed mandate to lead economic development through processes such as the ZAC has put its economic and social projects into conflict. It is problematic for the welfare state to lead the production of smooth, apolitical space as a response to a post-industrial city that has so clearly created winners and losers. In developing a post-urban tertiary economy, Lille has overlooked the potential both within its post-industrial city fabric and existing population. A different, urban kind of economic project is possible in Lille that assumes a much stronger social mandate. The post-industrial block is Lille’s unique opportunity to develop this. Sites d’Excellence should be built here, instead of on the periphery, for a number of reasons. Some tertiary economy jobs are low-skill and so possible for ex-industrial, minimally educated workers to undertake (The Urban Corporate Campus), and businesses of both high and low knowledge intensity can share similar accommodation if the scale and design allows for this (the Co-working Courée). Intensifying post-industrial areas with new businesses has the potential to create services and amenities that can be shared with the existing neighbourhood, partially
cutting across class distinctions (all three design projects). These strategies allow for the emergence of new kinds of relationships both amongst businesses and between them and the local neighbourhood. It is about economic development that is urban and engaged with context, rather than post-urban and isolated. This dissertation identifies strategies such as intensification, rehabilitation, renovation, extension and transformation as means to mount its social project. Instead of using generic ideas such as ‘diversity’ and the attendant vague or caricatured responses this tends to result in, these verbs describe direct actions upon specific contexts and stakeholders. It is through this specificity that the project gains its forcefulness. This challenges the agency of the kinds of generalising terms used to describe best practice in urban design today, such as ‘mixed-use’ and ‘diversity’. Indeed, it opens a field of study into the meaning and usefulness of this jargon, and provides evidence of an alternative. Post-industrial sites tend to be understood either through the lens of speculative development or of creative re-use. What I hope to have shown is that there is much richer potential here, opening the possibility for a more radical idea of urban transformation – one that looks beyond the site boundary and into the socio-spatial narratives that surround it. Strategic and opportunistic use of the post-industrial block can create a different, urban kind of economic space in which various, specific stakeholders and constituencies can coexist and benefit from one other. This addresses both the post-industrial and post-urban conditions, even with modest ambition. It is a strategy that creates precisely the kind of mixed-use, mixed-user, mixed-typology urban form that features prominently in discussions on best urban practice (but without targeting these goals directly), and therefore a different idea of the potential of post-industrial cities. A demolished usine hall is more than vacant land, it is the possibility to produce the kinds of urban environments cities are attempting to make today.
Alongside the aforementioned questioning of urban design jargon, a number of fields for further study are opened up by this work that can be grouped roughly into three themes: the post-industrial city, management and the cadastral parcel. Post-Industrial City The dissertation has highlighted and explored a different kind of development potential that is unique to postindustrial Lille. This naturally raises the question as to whether such potential exists in other post-industrial cities. How is the potential different, how is it similar? Could the approaches developed here become systematised into a catalogue of responses that can be deployed depending on factory and block type? How can we systematize the development of socio-spatial narratives as a kind of latent set of opportunities to be tapped when a suitable lead policy is produced? Could this approach also be extended to cities following a natural disaster or conflict? Management An initial response to a presentation of this dissertation was: Why is this not happening in Lille already? There are examples of lower-ambition Urban Corporate Campustype development, however there remain organisation/ managerial barriers to projects such as the Co-working Courée and in particular the Productive Arcade. While I touched briefly on phasing and parcellation, more work is needed on the kinds of organisation structures and phasing strategies that would allow for the realisation of a project that touches on multiple actors, land owners and vested interests. This is something that any project that takes its social mandate seriously must contend with. Likewise, an effective ongoing managerial solution would be key to ensuring the success of schemes such as the Co-working Courée and Productive Arcade. What sort of management strategy would give the Productive Arcade its best chance of success? More broadly, is there a different (say block-based) governance structure that would be more effective at addressing the post-industrial city as I have presented it here?
Cadastral Parcel One of the key potentials of the post-industrial city is the ‘land bank’ created by disused factories dispersed throughout the city. Developing from that, the cadastre remains an untapped potential for thinking urbanism through time, something for which surprisingly little material was found during research for this dissertation. Plots size and shape affects the possibilities for future redevelopment, particularly if land consolidation is prevented through legislation or stubborn landowners. Parcellation is something that is very difficult to change later on if development is ineffective. This is a robust criticism to development that appears to respond to the market in the short term but may fail if market conditions change, an observation Louise Mozingo has levelled at business parks and which can be extended to shopping malls and Cul de Sacs. What further potential is there in using the cadastral parcel as an urban planning device? As is evidenced by the post-industrial city, can parcellation be further developed as a way of thinking urbanism through time? How do type and parcel relate to one another? How can the geometry of cadastral parcels be used as a tool of resistance or empowerment?
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Published on Jul 14, 2016
In Lille, ‘Knowledge Economy’ has resulted in a branded, caricatured and segregated métropole – a Parallel Métropole. By zoning and isolatin...