Starting before opening!

POC La Chaufferie Huet

Starting before opening!

“The Huetboiler room, yes, I know it well!”

But how is it possible that people know about a future performance hall inLa Madeleine, long before any renovation work has even started?

Temporary show

Surely, its success is owed to Berkem Label’s dynamism, a local association who, in collaboration with the city of La Madeleine, began to display shows long before the hall was even available to welcome them: Façad’Art as part of the street art festival Les Fenêtres qui parlentLes Beffrois du travail to raise awarenesson the common heritage; Imagier de Berkem(including the old Huet factory) from a collection of citizen’s memories; Fantastik,la Ducasse de Berkemfor Lille3000; Atom@Berkem, a vegetable plantation operation on site during Heritage Days; Lille3000 Renaissance on the banks of the Deûle …

The rich design of Berkem Label’s actions is emblematic of the temporary occupation strategy which “begins before opening” and aims to set up practiceslong before its materiality… 


But the most remarkable part of this co-design process between citizen dynamics and local public action started way before any performance hall project!

In 2004 the boiler room and the chimney were threatened of demolition. Berkem Label set out a crusade to save the brownfield site and filed an appeal to preserve it. In that same year, the property is registered in the city’s architectural and landscape heritage inventory. Its success is the result of prolonged efforts to raise awareness on the industrial historical heritage of La Madeleine: rallies, slideshows, guided tours to raise awareness among visitors and residents and workshops in neighbourhood cafes, with former weaving workers, at the Courbet school, Flanders college …

Remarkable design of citizen action led by the association since its creation in 1988, same year as Huet Establishments’ closure!

  • Porteurs de projet/Project holders :Nathalie Moniot,Hélène Moreau(Ville de la Madeleine)
  • Designers :ChristopheFrançois
  • Acteurs/Stakeholders : Architecture NTK : Nathalie Tkint,Harmonie municipale,Centre de Culture et d’Animation «le Millénaire»,Association Berkem Label,DRAC
  • Crédits photo / photo credits: Association Berkem Label