La Maillerie : the rebirth of a historic district
The rebirth of a historic district resolutely turned towards the future
Reading time 4 min.
Between Croix and Villeneuve-d'Ascq, in the heart of the European Metropolis of Lille, a former wasteland of nearly 32 hectares is the scene of a veritable urban renaissance and is being transformed into a new district called La Maillerie. Its name is inspired by the activity of its last occupant, the 3 Suisses, the flower of the northern textile industry and former leader in distance selling.
Photo by D’Houndt+Bajart
This project, led by NHOOD France and LinkCity for nearly 3 years, was developed in co-construction with local public stakeholders, the European metropolis of Lille and the municipalities of Villeneuve-d'Ascq and Croix, but also private stakeholders including local residents. The goal? To transform an industrial wasteland into a new, useful, lively and sustainable living area.
This mixed-use project, built on more than 10 hectares, will eventually house offices, housing and the shops. It will also offer a range of services to residents, such as a public elementary school and a nursery, and will be enhanced by numerous green spaces, notably by the reintroduction of water to the Marque River - a river that is currently drained underground at the Maillerie.
A small story leads to a big one
More than just a name, the entire project has been designed to reconnect with the industrial and creative history of the site. The inauguration of the first commercial building in December will highlight the textile heritage of the site. Indeed, at the time of acquiring the wasteland, NHOOD France has also acquired an amazing collection of clothing from the collaborations of 3 Suisses with great names of fashion from the 1980s to today, with the ambition to highlight this heritage. So that the historical and heritage value of this collection can be preserved, 500 of these pieces were sold in 2017 to the Piscine de Roubaix museum. Another part was exhibited since 2018 in the Maison du Projet where it was accompanied by a series of photos taken by the Roubaix photographer Didier Knoff showing them in the 3 Suisses buildings before they were deconstructed.
And this year for the inauguration of the first building, a third part of these unique pieces is presented during a fashion show highlighting their incredible modernity before they are auctioned, with the auction house Good and the website Drouot Live, for the benefit of Fashion Green Hub. This association of independent fashion designers is locally committed and driven by an ecological and responsible approach to textile design. A way to close this beautiful textile and entrepreneurial story by promoting new modes of consumption.
La Maillerie, a place that reinvents local shops
Better clothing at La Maillerie. On the first 6,000 sqm, 1,700 sqm are reserved to host fashion boutiques and services that promote local, more responsible and sustainable consumption. This space hosts a designer market in the form of ephemeral spaces. Slowmod, La Confection and La Fashion Green Room are the first to join the adventure, and with them many other local partners. These shops allow to expose and sell for Christmas, the creations of the association's brands and to invite other designers to join this virtuous collective.
Fashion is like vegetables. It's better and safer when you know exactly where it comes from and who grows it.
Annick Jehanne, President FashionGreenHub
Better food at La Maillerie. Here, 2,000 sqm are home to restaurants and food shops. In addition to a brewing workshop where you can learn how to brew your own beer or taste the famous Brique House beers, the Halles de La Maillerie - operated by Biltoki - allows 25 independent artisans and merchants to sell and taste their products on site. Bakers, fishmongers, fish scalers, butchers, caterers, cheesemongers, greengrocers, pork butchers, caterers and restaurant owners are all local artisans who will offer a lively and friendly space to the neighborhood's residents. With a clever cocktail of gastronomy and conviviality, our partner Biltoki has established itself as THE reference for Halles Gourmandes in France and has gone beyond the borders of its native South-West where it opened its first 5 Halles. After the very successful openings of the Halles in Saint Etienne and Toulon during fall, La Maillerie will be a new step in the Biltoki adventure, which will soon continue in Rouen, Angers and Paris.
Better farming at La Maillerie. Spring 2022 will be the occasion to open a large landscaped patio accessible to the public with 1000 m2 to learn and practice the main principles of urban agriculture. 100 private vegetable gardens of all sizes will be available for rent to families and businesses in the neighborhood. A large edible garden, a neighborhood micro-garden and a demonstration area will complete the offer. To make this project flourish, NHOOD and LinkCity have called upon Growsters, a young start-up committed to urban agriculture. The Growsters mediators-gardeners accompany the inhabitants in their daily learning via a practical and playful digital ecosystem, and set up 200 events per year. Everything is done to initiate or perfect one's knowledge of organic gardening. Leroy Merlin is also a partner in the project, financing part of the facilities and offering each of the apprentice gardeners the local and organic necessities to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
La Maillerie is proof that living together better is not a utopia.
By working hand in hand with our partners, the cities, the MEL and our neighbours, we give life to a living and sustainable neighbourhood that boosts the local economy. That's the triple positive impact of NHOOD!