Lea Poucet

Lea Poucet

The Memory Machine. ULG Liège (Belgium)

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EAP 2021 Lea Poucet

Memory Machine – La Louvière

La Louvière is a city with a rich industrial past. It is powered by channels with four hydraulic lifts. The Ravel, as the activities around waters, bring attractiveness for tourism. However, some places remain poorly exploited. The choosen plot for this project is located at the crossroads of flows in Thieu, at the confluence between the canal of the historic center and the new canal of the center. Next to lift N°4, to all kind of facilities and surrounded by fields, it has a lot of exploitable qualities.

The first purpose of this projet is to create a river market, whose docks take place on this plot. There, boats would collect or stock surrounding agricultural productions to route and sell it along the canal of the historic center. This setting up allows boats to sink into the project, to animate functions that take place there. In addition to it, there are also ironworks and ceramics workshops, classes to transmit craftsmanship, housing, a covered market and a restaurant-canteen. Outdoor spaces are used for agricultural production, permaculture and to connect flux. Everything is thought as a large machine, recalling the atmosphere and the techniques of hydraulic lifts, the spaces are intertwined and complement each other. Flat roofs, accessible, allow visitors to observe the comings and goings of boats and evoke the decks of ships themselves. Housing, located on its island, is the only exception to this functional machine. By their much more organic form, it offers exceptional views, while animating this ground originally so flat. A swing bridge and the outside traffic tower provide access. The structures, made of steel, serve the function in the workshops and for the docks, and animate the spatiality. At the crossroads of memories, this project tries to revive the lost crafts of La Louvière, while mixing functions allowing what was alreadypresent to live and prosper.


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