In order to welcome the future Junia headquarters, in a few weeks’ time refurbishment and extension work will begin on the Albert Le Grand residence, gradually transforming the building’s outline. The objective is to transform this former ‘family house’ into a modern and smart administrative headquarters that will also serve as an emblematic showcase for the missions of Junia. Follow the guide!
The inauguration date of the Albert Le Grand residence. Fun history fact: although it initially housed the first students, the building that will tomorrow house Junia headquarters was once the provisional administrative hub of Lille Catholic University of Lille, which was at the time under construction.
The four fully redesigned floors of the former student residence are designed to adapt to the new uses. Work is constantly evolving, so work rooms and offices can no longer be designed towards a single need: they need to be able to cater to variable demands, with a flexible configuration and adapted equipment and furniture. Flexibility is key: co-working, telecommuting, multi-activity, nomadism, atypical schedules… A concrete example? Boulevard Vauban will feature rooms with removable partitions that can be transformed into cubicles or work rooms, open spaces or private offices, reading rooms or discussion areas… Other spaces, be they permanent or flexible, will be grouped together within the extension: meeting rooms, shared work spaces, relaxation areas… They will accommodate both Junia’s resident employees and researchers or nomadic partners for varying time periods.
Serving as the face of Junia, the glass extension on Boulevard Vauban (see insert) will reflect the ambition for openness and community of a school determined to show what we do and how we do it. The top level will symbolise this: with a small greenhouse and a space for both work leisure, it will demonstrate what a sustainable building is capable of being. This buffer strip can store heat and then distribute it to the rest of the site, and the plants can also help to cool down the premises in the summer.
The current ground floor of the building will be divided tomorrow into two main sectors. The long central section will become a vast lobby between the reception and the public square. The open and flexible space will facilitate a mixture of uses and accommodate all types of visitors. It will meet a variety of needs, offering a cafeteria, workshops and conferences, collaborative work spaces, exhibitions, social events, etc. The administrative offices will be located on the upper floors and in the building’s two wings.
The courtyard of the residence is not currently used to its full potential, and it certainly lacks visibility. The plan is to dig it down to the basement level, on one hand to light up the basement, and on the other hand to arrange the space differently, giving priority to educational use, with green courtyards, small experimental gardens, etc. The roof of the south wing will be rearranged to accommodate a terrace with small green spaces. At the rear of the building, the existing ISA pool will be extended to the front of the residence.
The site will not only be home to administrative facilities. The garden level will provide work and teaching spaces directly connected to the courtyards and the garden labs. This will enable students to put their learning into practice, particularly in the fields of agronomics and landscaping.
Planning permission is pending!
Work should begin in a few weeks’ time and be completed by the end of 2021 to coincide with the opening of the new headquarters.