The team consisting of Rotterdam's MVRDV, French architects de Alzua+, and the development corporation ADIM Nord, has won the first place in an urban renewal competition in the French city of Villeneuve-d’Ascq.
The winning proposal, titled 'The Beam,' will hover over the nearby highway and seeks to act as visual reference point for the town’s center. A hotel, offices, and retail space, totalling 161,000 sq ft, will be built on the site of a former gas station, with construction expected to start in 2015.
Project Description from MVRDV:
Villeneuve d’Ascq is a new town located near Lille in the very north of France. The Beam will be icon of a larger urban generation effort in the town centre which is currently characterised by parking lots, large volumes and undefined green spaces. On an urban level the masterplan aims at a more sustainable form of development by densifying the town centre and adding identity and diversity to the site. The creation of pedestrian zones, and the demarcation and connection of the existing green spaces together also form part of the plan.
The parking spaces on the main square will be relocated into a 274 space underground car park on the new site. The adjacent buildings, which face away from the site will be extended to form urban blocks; each with a green patio at its centre. At the corner of the inner city motorway and the service road leading towards the main square of Villeneuve d’Ascq, The Beam will create an address for the town centre on the motorway.
The site, one of the few places visible from this sunken dual-carriageway, allows the town centre to be visible to drivers passing by. The project is currently under development and will contain offices, a hotel and some retail space with a total area of around 15,000 m2, and the underground car park offering 274 parking spaces. The team ADIM with MVRDV and co-architect Jérôme de Alzua beat four competitors in a competition organised by Commune de Villeneuve d’Ascq.