Cross-border shopping fun
Not far from the French city of Lille, the „Promenade de Flandre“ has been built as the first cross-border shopping centre between France and Belgium.
Strategically located on the A22 motorway linking Paris and Brussels, the shopping centre is located on the ZAC Petit-Menin industrial park between the municipalities of Neuville-en-Ferrain, Roncq and Tourcoing in the Département Nord of the Hauts-de-France region, some two kilometres from the Belgian border.
As part of a partnership between the city of Lille and Altarea Cogedim and Immochan, this major project was launched with the aim of bringing economic development to the catchment area of around two million inhabitants. This represented outstanding conditions for the shopping mile designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte for attracting both French and Belgian customers.
The 60,000-square-metre sales area hosts more than 45 brand boutiques for clothing, sports, leisure, interior furnishings, garden products and decorative articles as well as a wide range of gastronomic offerings. In addition, there are 2000 parking spaces, indoor and outdoor play areas for children and 10,000 square metres of attractively landscaped theme gardens, which are open to the four million visitors annually for outdoor enjoyment.
The project participants of Wilmotte & Associés architectural office from Paris and Neveux et Rouyer from Versailles attached great importance to a user-friendly and appealing design of the exterior area. The simple REGOR barrier bollard from Hess meets the high requirements for safety and orientation, especially in the pedestrian areas. In addition, additional site furnishings from Hess enhance the exterior, such as REGULUS tree guards and CERES bicycle racks.
Designers and participants
Clients: Real estate companies Altarea Cogedim and Immochan
Architecture: Wilmotte & Associés, Paris
Landscape architecture: Neveux et Rouyer, Versailles
Site furnishings: REGOR barrier bollards, CERES bicycle racks, REGULUS tree guards
Shopping paradise with strong visual identity
The design approach of architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte is based on contemporary architecture, which, with its unusual rear façade completely covered with aluminium mirror leaves, seems to virtually merge with the natural surroundings.
The large vertical and horizontal mirror surfaces reflect and fragment the surrounding landscape, sky and light, making the 16-metre-high building an eyecatcher that attracts attention already from a great distance.
„With its urban, architectural and human dimensions, Promenade de Flandre is a project that embodies a completely new generation of shopping centres largely planted with greenery and in synergy with the neighbouring landscape. With the centre surrounded by a lush green park with a wide variety of plants, extensive green spaces offer themselves up to customers, inviting them to converse, relax and enjoy each other’s company“, the architect explains.
Even the parking areas, playgrounds and pedestrian zones are filled with trees and native bushes in order to create an environment in touch with nature.
Site furnishings from Hess: aesthetics and function in perfect harmony
The selected Hess furnishings, which meet the wide variety of requirements for outdoor use, represent a continuation of the high design standards.
590 barrier bollards of type REGOR from Hess were used to clearly divide the traffic and pavement zones.
They ensure functional and clearly visible demarcation of pedestrian areas along the carriageways and zebra crossings and simultaneously prevent parking outside the marked areas.
Elegantly proportioned CERES bicycle racks offer secure parking for bicycles on the premises.
Decorative accents are also set by the square REGULUS cast-iron tree grates: With their abstract ornamentation, they not only protect the roots of the trees but also become a real eyecatcher in the outdoor areas of the prestigious shopping mile.