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Left Side Business Park to bring high quality of life to Charleroi development

Image: Asymétrie/Charleroi Bouwmeester
Image: Asymétrie/Charleroi Bouwmeester

The redevelopment of Charleroi is set to continue with a project by the Eiffage group. Within the framework of the ‘Left Side Business Park’, Eiffage is scheduling a scheme known as HQVie (for ‘High Quality of Life) with the collaboration of RGPA architects (Goffart Polomé – Réservoir A).

The idea is to create a complex of housing designed to improve the quality of life of inhabitants from the points of view of health, infrastructure, functionality and social cohesion. The development is to be in lots 5 and 6 of the Left Side Business Park and will thus be set around the new marina to be created on the Sambre. The external aspect of the development will see public areas designed to encourage interaction between occupants through green areas, comfortable street furniture etc. Attention will be paid to ease of access for seniors and for persons with reduced mobility.

In terms of types of accommodation, Eiffage is to provide different sizes of apartments and houses, a serviced residence for the elderly, a crèche, a student study area etc. Adding to the multi-functional character of the development, there will also be a sports hall, an urban farm, and a co-working space among others. In line with some other recent developments in Brussels, ‘guest rooms’ are planned, meaning that occupants do not have to rent these on a permanent basis (i.e. by opting for a two-bedroom apartment when they only need one bedroom 95% of the time…), but can reserve and rent them for a night or two when required.

The buildings will be highly energy efficient and the worksite will also be arranged to be as ‘green’ as possible.

A bicycle workshop and bicycle parking recognises the growing importance of soft mobility, as do the car-sharing facilities and electric car parking spaces. This area of Charleroi is also well served by public transport.

On his own website, the Charleroi Bouwmeester (and the Dutch word is used officially) speaks in more general terms of the Left Side Business park creating a link between the city centre and the Ring. It will include housing, offices and shops. There will be some 40,000 m² of offices over four towers, and 380 residential units. It may be observed that this scheme, with its large size, mixed use and water setting, has similar characteristics to ‘Eilandje’ in Antwerp.

Tim Harrup

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