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

8560 m², 2015-2019, (01/628)
Competition brochure

Services performed:
  • Historical study (Philippe Bragard)
  • Landscaping
  • Architecture
  • Interior architecture
  • Structural engineering (with MC-carré)
  • MEP engineering (with Six-eng)
  • Acoustics (with Altia)
  • Stage design (with dUCKS scéno)
  • 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 required renovation and extension to meet the current requirements of local people and to accommodate the redevelopment of the rue des Bouchers and the banks of the Sambre River.

The building used to consist of a 400-seater theatre at one end of a rectangular box-shaped space on four levels with a south-facing curtain wall (looking over the Sambre River) built up against a curved rectangular box-shaped space on five levels, 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).

One  intermediate mezzanine was added into the foyer of the 450-seater main theatre, as well as an additional level on top of the “croissant” (level 4), 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 1):

  • 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 0):

  • 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 training room 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 1:

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

On level 1+:

  • 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 2:

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

On level 2+:

  • 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 3:

  • the technical premises for the 120 to 500-seater theatre (grey),
  • an exhibition area which extends up to level 4 (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, not built) 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 main 450-seaters theatre rooflights, necessary for both smoke exhaust and natural daylight, can also be used for natural ventilation, along with opening windows.


Natural lighting

Louvres fitted vertically on east, and horizontal blinds on other orientations, are used to adjust the degree of natural illumination through the facades, and to provide shading.

Light wells shall provide natural illumination for the stages 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 (Breeam certification in progress).


“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, Belgium.


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


Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers (SAI) Philippe Samyn

Chaussée de Waterloo, 1537   B-1180 Brussels                                 Exclusive owner of the copyrights

Tel. + 32 2 374  90 60       Fax + 32 2 374 75 50

Email: sai@samynandpartners.com,





Design Partner                         :            Dr Ir Philippe Samyn.

Administrative Partner            :            Ghislain André.

Principal architect                  :            Giuseppe Cardillo.

Collaborators                          :            (more than 80 hours) Adrian Anghel, Karim Ammor, , Guido Bruzzi, Pierre Carteni, Louis Chaumont, Gilles Demol, Silvia Figoli, Olivier Gennart, Cristina Ibanez Moreno, Roser Igual, Alexandra Ionesi, Ali Laghrari, Aimeric Mavillaz, Ana Miralles Barreda, Mara Parfenovica, Daniel Perez Justel, Vlad Popa, Alexio Rava, Radu Somfelean, Gülin Yazicioglu.


Stuctural engineering              :           SAI with MC-carré sprl, Gaëtan Cordi

                                                               Av. Albert Einstein 11a – B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve,

                                                               Tel. : +32 10 45 21 54, Fax : +32 10 45 09 91

                                                               Email : info@mc-carre.be


Building services engineering /

PEB                                             :

                                                               SAI with SIX Consulting & Engineering s.a. / DTS & CO s.a.

                                                               SIX Consulting & Engineering s.a. Gérald Maljean, Chief Executive Officer, Manuel Bechoux

                                                               Rue d’Arlon, 2, L-8399 WINDHOF,

                                                               Email : g.maljean@six-eng.eu,

                                                               Mobile : + 352 661 34 10 02

                                                               DTS & CO s.a., Salmon André, Technical Manager

                                                               Av. des Dauphins, 8, B-1495 Sart-Dames-Avelines

                                                               Tel. : +32 67 87 44 00, Fax : +32 67 87 44 01

                                                               Email : salmon@dts-eng.com


Scenography                          :            dUCKS scéno, Melissa Ribeiro and Pierre Jaubert de Beaujeu

                                                               Bd. Voltaire, 81, F-75011 Paris,

                                                               Tel. : + 33 1 80 49 12 40

                                                               Email : namur@ducks.fr


Acoustics                                 :            Altia, Richard Denayrou

                                                               Rue de Cléry,5, F – 75002 Paris, Tél. :  +33 1 53 00 90 65

                                                               E-mail : richard.denayrou@altia-acoustique.com


Museography                          :            François Mairesse

(competition)                                       Université de Paris 3 – Département de Médiation culturelle,

                                                               rue Santeuil F – 1375213 Paris Cedex 05.

                                                               Tel. :  +33 633 948484  Email : francois.mairesse@univ-paris3.fr


Urban design /

Landscape (competition)     :            Agora, Serge Peeters

                                                               Rue Montagne aux Anges, 26, B-1081 Brussels

                                                               Tel. : +32 2 779 13 55, Fax : +32 2 779 22 75

                                                               Email : spe@agora-urba.be





BREEAM                                    :            SECO, Technical Control Office for Construction, Etienne Guiot

                                                               Rue d’Arlon, 53, B-1040 Brussels

                                                               Tel. : +32 2  238 22 11, Fax : +32 2 238 22 61

                                                               Email : mail@seco.be


Outdoor lighting advisor       : Magic Monkey sprl/bvba, Marc Largent

(competition)                                       Rue Franz Merjay, 179, 1050 Brussels

                                                               Tel. : +32 2 344 84 84, Fax : +32 2 347 70 72

                                                               Email : marc.largent@ magicmonkey.net


Health and safety

coordination                           :             SIXCO

                                                               Rue de Beth, 10, B-6852 Opont

                                                               Tel. : +32 61 21 01 00, Fax : + 32 61 25 68 56


Accessibility for disabled

persons                                     :            asbl PLAIN-PIED, Julie Vanhalewyn

                                                               Rue Nanon, 98, B-5000 Namur

                                                               Tel. : +32 81 39 06 36, Mobile : +32 478 79 41 02

                                                               Email : julie.vanhalewyn@plain-pied.com


Guest artist                               :            Yves Zurstrassen

                                                               Avenue du Val Fleuri 19, B-1180 Uccle

                                                               Tel. : +32 2 332 39 89

                                                               Email : yves@zurstrassen.be


Signposting                              :            sdesign sprl, François-Joseph de Lantsheere

                                                               Rue Franz Merjay 148 C, B-1050 Ixelles

                                                               Tel. : +32 2 223 41 90

                                                               Email : info@sdesign.be


Environmental studies             :            Daidalos Peutz bouwfysisch ingenieursbureau bvba, Filip Descamps

(competition)                                       Vital Decosterstraat, 67A bus 1, B-3000 Leuven

                                                               Tel. : +32 16 35 32 77, Fax : +32 16 35 32 78

                                                               Email : info@daidalospeutz.be


Microclimates studies              :            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

                                                               Email: info@cenaero.be


Kitchen advisor                       :            FBO Freddy Oushoorn

(competition)                                       Doornzeledries 122, B-9940 Evergem

                                                               Tel.: +32 475 26 71 39

                                                               Email: fbo@telenet.be


Historic advisor                         :            Philippe Bragard

(competition)                                       Rue Ernotte, 5, B-5000 Namur

                                                               Mobile : +32 476 52 94 87

                                                               Email : philippe.bragard@uclouvain.be


Advisor for his own work         :            Félix Roulin

                                                               Place des Combattants, 2, B-5640 Biesmerée

                                                               Tel. : +32 71 72 96 68, Mobile : +32 496 20 20 81

                                                               Email : roulinfelix@gmail.com


Additional renderings             :            ASYMETRIE sprl, Xavier Vanabelle, Michaël Barrin

                                                               Rue de Thirimont, 126, B-6511 Beaumont

                                                               Tel : +32 71 31 43 00, Fax : +32 71 32 43 00

                                                               Email : contact@asymetrie.be


Model                                       :             AMA, Atelier de Maquettes d’Architecture, Francis Van Hoye

(competition)                                       Grotebaan, 327, B-1620 Drogenbos

                                                               Tel : +32 2 537 13 05, Mobile : +32 475 81 30 82

                                                               Email : contact@ama-models.be







Pictures of the model              :            KOLORSPROD, Alexander von Buxhoeveden

(competition)                                       Rue En Briolet, 12, 4520 Bas-Oha

                                                               Tel.: +32 477 37 76 33

                                                               Email : info@kolorsprod.com




management                         :            Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS (André CHARON and Quentin OLBRECHTS)




Beginning of the projetct 2015-07.

Beginning of the works 2016-09-01.

Acceptance of the building 2019-09-05.



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


Pictures inside
Site 2019
Site 2017-2018
As built drawings with colors
As built drawings

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