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Author(s): B2H et Jérôme Piquand architectes, Maison de l'Architecture de Lorraine


The year 2015 in Écurey was the start of a centre for experimentation on sustainable development in rural areas, with everything that the word involves in terms of research, hesitation sometimes, and also rapid advances. Thus, background work conducted for more than 4 years helped the platform to physically rise above ground at the end of the year. The market farming centre is close to succeeding with an arrangement that combines employment integration, sustainable agriculture, and the local economy, while projects focusing on nettles are developing. The links developed with the tourism offices are gradually bringing groups of visitors to the interpretive centre. And offerings for school children are under development. The many attributes of the site (aesthetics, charm, modernity, etc.) are beginning to attract individuals for family events, and professionals for meetings. And throughout the year, Cie Azimuts has contributed its professionalism and maturity to the life of the site by organising 4 artist residencies and 12 shows that helped draw in 5000 visitors in 2015. The last show of the year was a pyrotechnic Saint Nicholas that brought new life to the grand foundry hall. With the lighted staging of the site and a first Christmas market, the event attracted more than 500 people […].

The Écurey site, located in the Meuse, is one of many examples of territories in the Lorraine to were entirely dedicated to the steel industry for decades and then gradually abandoned in the 1980s.

Today, a registered Historic Monument, it is home to the Centre for experimentation on sustainable development in rural areas.

Here, it is a question of Reappropriating a territory through the local social fabric and the human energy mobilised toward this goal.

The architects’ job was to insert themselves into this process and find the right balance to respond to a demanding program and summarise needs to allocate the budget where it was needed: to the residents to enhance their land, to volunteers to animate the site, and to the site to reinvent itself.

Programme : Centre d'expérimentation du développement durable en milieu rural