Municipal public services as link

POC Le service public municipal comme un trait d’union

Municipal public services as link

Inaugurated in March 2020, Armentières’ new Cultural and Social housing project ‘Trait d’union’offers its users a shared reception comprising multiple public and associative services, gathered in one single place: “We no longer have to go to different sites of the city to make our procedures, everything is centralised”.

Transforming a former secondary school

In 2015, following the construction of the new secondary school Desrousseaux, the school’s old and vast buildings were left vacant in the heart of the city. The municipality of Armentières concluded an agreement with the MEL and the Departmental Council to dispose of the site for its project to create an administrative centre dedicated to culture and solidarity. The workshop Polygraphikworks on a global project: name, visual identity, signage, public reception furniture. The main challenge is to bring together administrative services and associations whose activities – ranging from social to cultural – are complementary for the beneficiary users: “Housing, health, precariousness, social aid, personal assistance… you’ll find all social services in a single site!”

The challenge of a shared reception

Beyond the name and logo, the housing project is defined by user reception quality: “We will be able to welcome users in adapted and pooled premises”.  The site’s signage prioritises and harmonises information so that the housing project feels like a single coherent entity, and in order to allow everyone working on site (users, employees, volunteers, etc.) to move around independently. From the graphics of the exterior of the buildings to the shapes of the furniture in the reception area, the design team’s project is built around an assembly of shapes and colours combined in harmony while retaining their specificity and distinctive character. It echoes the challenges thatTrait d’union represents for its future occupants: “This change leads us to reflect on the services we offer, and why not try to be complementary with the other occupants of the site”; “We will have to change our working habits, but Public Service will only be strengthened”.

  • Porteur de projet/Project holder : Armentières 
  • Designers : Juliette Cheval, Sébastien Nicot, Polygraphic
  • Acteurs/Stakeholders : Métropole Européenne de Lille, Conseil départemental / Departmental council
  • Crédit photo/Photo credit : Juliette Cheval, Sébastien Nicot, Polygraphic