© Filip DUJARDIN
Extract from the Press Realease by the architect, Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
Police and Dance, a pas de deux.
It is both strange and somehow stimulating to combine a police headquarters and a dance company on the same site. Urban districts move, cities change, we are in an era of transformation. In Charleroi, Belgium, we have built a new police headquarters and extended the Charleroi Danses buildings. These transformations were an opportunity to create a new urban space that can be reached from the street and that we wanted to be active and bustling. This is why a large brasserie was created at its heart, a place where users of the site and its neighbours can meet.
The Charleroi police headquarters has been installed in a blue tower building which is a reminder of the dark blue colours of the police force. The idea was to create a city scale landmark which is not too high, as a sort of dialogue with the City Hal belfry, and as a message stating that the police force services are open to all at all times. We installed the lobby in the extension to Charleroi Danses, it is a large red nomad tent that reminds of the lightness of dancers. Its vast terrace visible from the public area also underlines the permanence of this internationally reputed institution. The unexpected combination of the new Charleroi police headquarters, of Charleroi Danses, of a brasserie and a public square should create new urban poetry in the upper city.