Avenue Golenvaux – Namur
50°27’45’’N/4°52’07, 24’’E

8560 m², 2015-…, (01/628)

Services performed:
  • Historical study (Philippe Bragard)
  • Landscaping
  • Architecture
  • Interior architecture
  • Structural engineering (with MC-carré)
  • MEP engineering (with Six-eng)
  • Building physics (with Daidalos Peutz)
  • Acoustics (with Altia)
  • Stage design (with dUCKS scéno)
  • Museum studies (with François Mairesse)
  • Lighting (with Magic Monkey)
  • Accessibility (with Plain-Pied)
  • Signposting (with S-Design)

The building
This cultural centre sits in the centre of Namur, on the north bank of the Sambre River, facing the historic centre of the town known as “Le Grognon”. Designed by Victor Bourgeois and built at the start of the 1960s, the building requires renovation and extension to meet the current requirements of local people and to accommodate the redevelopment of the rue des Bouchers along the banks of the Sambre River.

The building currently consists of a 400-seater theatre at one end of a rectangular box-shaped space on four levels (I, II, IV, VI) with a south-facing curtain wall (looking over the Sambre River) built up against a curved rectangular box-shaped space on five levels (I, II, IV, VI, VII), known as the “croissant”, which has an east-facing curtain wall and a south-facing end wall which has no openings.

The project shall preserve the existing construction (with the exception of the small buildings annexed to the backstage area and at the site’s north-west corner).
Two intermediate mezzanines shall be added (levels III and V) as well as an additional level on top of the “croissant” (level VIII), with extensions to accommodate the functionality required.
These additions shall include, to the east of the building in front of the “croissant”, the “prow cylinder” comprising the reception porch, and significant extensions to the north-east of the building.

The redeveloped building shall thus include: 

Next to the redeveloped rue des Bouchers (level I):

  • a small art house room with a capacity of 60 to 80 (shown in violet on the drawing) with its lobby and access areas (shown in red),
  • a restaurant and shops (olive green),
  • recording studios and meeting rooms (light green),
  • the entrance for VIPs, performers and personnel and the logistics and technical services zone (grey).

On avenue Golenvaux (level II):

  • the main entrance doorway for the general public (yellow),
  • the building’s main reception lobby (shown in red, as are the access areas on the upper levels),
  • the bookshop under the “prow cylinder” (olive green),
  • the stalls of the main 450 to 600-seater theatre (violet) with Yves Zurstrassen’s ceiling fresco and its foyer (blue),
  • the stage with its backstage area and dressing rooms (grey).

On level III:

  • a suite of dressing rooms (grey) and
  • a mezzanine overlooking the foyer (blue)

On level IV:

  • the main balcony for the 450 to 600-seater theatre,
  • the 120 to 150-seater theatre in the “prow cylinder” (violet) and
  • its foyer (blue) with the performers’ dressing rooms (grey),
  • the multimedia library, classrooms and creative workshop (light green),
  • the caretaker’s room on the west side (grey).

On level V:

  • the second balcony for the 450 to 600-seater theatre (dark grey),
  • the mezzanine in the multimedia library (green),
  • the main offices on the west side (grey).

On level VI:

  • the main balcony for the 120 to 500-seater theatre (violet),
  • the museum (green) and its terraces of sculptures (dark green),
  • the artworks storage area on the main theatre and the suite of offices (grey).

On level VII:

  • the second balcony for the 120 to 500-seater theatre (violet),
  • an exhibition area which extends up to level VIII (light green) and which opens out onto
  • a large terrace which also accommodates the Pechère garden (dark green),
  • the artists’ studios (light green).

All the public areas can be accessed independently and directly from the existing main staircase and the new adjoining service lift.

The site and public access routes
Sunlight lights up the building from the morning through to the evening and the prevailing south-westerly winds bring cool, fresh air from Citadelle Park. The shadow analysis reveals that the project will have minimal impacts on the site.
The clean lines of its facades derive optimal benefit both from the natural light and the natural ventilation, free from noise and dust. The building also forms a screen between the noise of avenue Golenvaux and the rue des Bouchers, which further enhances this sun-bathed riverside environment.
The focus of the redevelopment of the areas surrounding the building is on optimising the flows of pedestrians, persons with reduced mobility, cyclists and the deliveries of goods.

The key aspects in the regeneration of the rue des Bouchers, from east to west, are:

  • a large spiral staircase open to the public which leads up to the “prow cylinder”, linking it with avenue Golenvaux,
  • the lift between the -6 m and -4.10 m levels to France Bridge (level: 0.00 m),
  • an entrance for the general public to the 60 to 80-seater theatre
  • new rows of seating for 500 people leading to the “towpath”,
  • the smooth connection, including for PRM, with the “towpath” (and RAVEL), at the -6 m level,
  • the visual connection with the large wall overlooking the right bank of the Sambre river, to the north of the confluence between the Sambre and Meuse rivers (Le Grognon),
  • the “Porte d’Entre Sambre-et-Meuse” with its glazed canopy welcomes those arriving by boat,
  • the building’s facade with its shops, restaurant and terrace,
  • the entrance for VIPs, performers and personnel,
  • the pedestrian connections to Le Grognon via the France and Musée bridges.

The project thus directs the appeal of the building’s south-facing facade to the rue des Bouchers, starting from the discrete access door for heavy goods deliveries at the courtyard at the most westerly point.
On avenue Golenvaux, the new cylindrical space sitting on a foot creates the “prow” of the building and produces a focus for the building and for traffic and pedestrian flows around it. When viewed from Boulevard Brunell, the cylinder sets off the curve of the Victor Bourgeois building which, with its raised elevation, now has a certain majesty.

Cenaero combined GIS (Geographic Information Systems) with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation tools and with a 3D modelling of the project to study the microclimates in and around the building. The findings of the study confirmed that it was possible:
1) to rely, for much of the time, on natural ventilation for the buildings,
2) to be confident regarding the comfort of the climatic conditions in areas around the entrances to the building and on the rue des Bouchers.

Natural ventilation and acoustics
Although the reliance on natural ventilation and lighting is perfectly possible in a favourable urban environment, the environmental conditions within towns (odours, noise, dust, dirt on floors and walls, overheating, shading) has gradually and very visibly deteriorated. Buildings have increasingly been constructed so to protect them from this hostile environment, becoming “boxes” sealed off from these physical attacks and, as a result, closed off from their surroundings
The centre of Namur, which is well ventilated due to its topography and rivers, is fortunate in that it does not suffer from these disadvantages. It is thus possible to return to more sensible practices, and to open up the building to its environment.
Since they are sheltered from sources of noise, the rooflights necessary for both ventilation and natural daylight, suitably protected from the rain, can thus be used for natural ventilation, along with opening windows.

Natural lighting
Louvres, fitted vertically on east and west facades, and horizontally on south-facing facades, will be used to adjust the degree of natural illumination through the facades, and to provide shading.
Light wells shall provide natural illumination for the stages and stall seating in the three theatres.

Performance levels
Some of the key considerations in this study have been: respect for the cultural heritage, the integration of existing artworks, fire safety, problem-free disabled access (Access-i certification), and respect for the environment (“Excellent” Breeam rating).

5,969 m², 2015, (01/628)

An invited competition.
“Design & Build” consultation conducted on behalf of “Cœur de Ville” (Entreprise Thomas et Piron).


Architecture and Engineering: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS All projects are designed by Philippe Samyn who also supervises every drawing
Structural Engineering: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS with SETESCO (sister company (1986-2006) or INGENIEURSBUREAU MEIJER (sister company 2007-2015) if not mentioned
Services engineering: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS with FTI (sister company since 1989) if not mentioned

Province de Namur.
Place Saint-Aubain,2, 5000 Namur, Belgique.

Design and Build avec Cœur de Ville (Thomas & Piron)

Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers         Philippe Samyn
Chaussée de Waterloo, 1537   B-1180 Bruxelles                               Propriétaire  exclusif des droits d’auteur (copyright)
Tél. + 32 2 374  90 60       Fax + 32 2 374 75 50
E-mail: sai@samynandpartners.com,

Design Partner : Dr Ir Philippe Samyn.
Administrative Partner : Ghislain André.
Associés consultants : Mehdi Chtourou, Åsa Decorte, Benoit Lacassagne, Denis Mélotte.
Collaborateurs : Karim Ammor, Gian Luca Barbieri, Justine Bonhomme, Giuseppe Cardillo, Alejandro Chichizola, Silvia Figoli, Daniele Galuppi, David Guillemaud, Roser Igual, Giulia  Lorini, Quentin Olbrechts, Vlad Popa, Alexio Rava, Gunhi-boar Silva Baticam, Radu Somfelean.

Ingénieur Stabilité
MC-carré sprl, Gaëtan Cordi
Av. Albert Einstein 11a – B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve,
Tél. : +32 10 45 21 54, Fax : +32 10 45 09 91
E-mail : info@mc-carre.be

Ingénieur Techniques spéciales / PEB
SIX Consulting & Engineering s.a. / DTS & CO s.a.
SIX Consulting & Engineering s.a. Gérald Maljean, Administrateur Délégué, Manuel Bechoux
Rue d’Arlon, 2, L-8399 WINDHOF,
E-mail : g.maljean@six-eng.eu,
Mobile : + 352 661 34 10 02

DTS & CO s.a., Salmon André, Directeur technique
Av. des Dauphins, 8, B-1495 Sart-Dames-Avelines
Tél. : +32 67 87 44 00, Fax : +32 67 87 44 01
E-mail : salmon@dts-eng.com

Conseiller Scénographie
dUCKS scéno, Melissa Ribeiro et Pierre Jaubert de Beaujeu
Bd. Voltaire, 81, F-75011 Paris,
Tél. : + 33 1 80 49 12 40
 E-mail : namur@ducks.fr

Conseiller Acoustique
Altia, Richard Denayrou
Rue de Cléry,5, F – 75002 Paris, Tél. :  +33 1 53 00 90 65
E-mail : richard.denayrou@altia-acoustique.com

Conseiller Urbanisme/Paysager
Agora, Serge Peeters
Rue Montagne aux Anges, 26, B-1081 Bruxelles
Tél. : +32 2 779 13 55, Fax : +32 2 779 22 75
E-mail : spe@agora-urba.be

Conseiller BREEAM
SECO, Bureau de Contrôle Technique pour la Construction, Etienne Guiot
Rue d’Arlon, 53, B-1040 Bruxelles
Tél. : +32 2  238 22 11, Fax : +32 2 238 22 61
E-mail : mail@seco.be

Conseiller Eclairage extérieur
Magic Monkey sprl/bvba, Marc Largent
Rue Franz Merjay, 179, 1050 Bruxelles
Tél. : +32 2 344 84 84, Fax : +32 2 347 70 72
E-mail : marc.largent@ magicmonkey.net

Coordinateur Sécurité – Santé
Rue de Beth, 10, B-6852 Opont
Tél. : +32 61 21 01 00, Fax : + 32 61 25 68 56

Conseiller accessibilité PMR
asbl PLAIN-PIED, Julie Vanhalewyn
Rue Nanon, 98, B-5000 Namur
Tél. : +32 81 39 06 36, Mobile : +32 478 79 41 02
E-mail : julie.vanhalewyn@plain-pied.com

Artiste invité
Yves Zurstrassen
Avenue du Val Fleuri 19, B-1180 Uccle
Tél. : +32 2 332 39 89
E-mail : yves@zurstrassen.be

sdesign sprl, François-Joseph de Lantsheere
Rue Franz Merjay 148 C, B-1050 Ixelles
Tél. : +32 2 223 41 90
E-mail : info@sdesign.be

Conseiller Etudes environnementales
Daidalos Peutz bouwfysisch ingenieursbureau bvba, Filip Descamps
Vital Decosterstraat, 67A bus 1, B-3000 Leuven
Tél. : +32 16 35 32 77, Fax : +32 16 35 32 78
E-mail : info@daidalospeutz.be

Conseiller Etudes micro-climats
Cenaero, Cécile Goffaux, Sébastien Pecceu
Rue des Frères Wright,29, B-6041 Gosselies
Tel.: +32 071 91 09 30, Fax: +32 71 91 09 31
E-mail: info@cenaero.be

Conseiller cuisine
FBO Freddy Oushoorn
Doornzeledries 122, B-9940 Evergem
Tel.: +32 475 26 71 39
E-mail: fbo@telenet.be

Conseiller historique
Philippe Bragard
Rue Ernotte, 5, B-5000 Namur
Mobile : +32 476 52 94 87
E-mail : philippe.bragard@uclouvain.be

Conseiller pour son œuvre
Félix Roulin
Place des Combattants, 2, B-5640 Biesmerée
Tél. : +32 71 72 96 68, Mobile : +32 496 20 20 81
 E-mail : roulinfelix@gmail.com

Images de synthèse complémentaires
ASYMETRIE sprl, Xavier Vanabelle, Michaël Barrin
Rue de Thirimont, 126, B-6511 Beaumont
Tél : +32 71 31 43 00, Fax : +32 71 32 43 00
E-mail : contact@asymetrie.be

AMA, Atelier de Maquettes d’Architecture, Francis Van Hoye
Grotebaan, 327, B-1620 Drogenbos
Tel : +32 2 537 13 05, Mobile : +32 475 81 30 82
E-mail : contact@ama-models.be

Photographies de la maquette
KOLORSPROD, Alexander von Buxhoeveden
Rue En Briolet, 12, 4520 Bas-Oha
Tel.: +32 477 37 76 33
E-mail : info@kolorsprod.com

Gestion documentation : Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS (André CHARON


© Aerial photos: Simon SCHMITT – www.globalview.be


For plans sections and elevations, please refer to the archives section of the site available from the “references” menu.

628 - MAISON de la CULTURE de la PROVINCE de NAMURFilippo Aimo