Former military halls will soon turn into an alternative area

Will there be an alternative district in Rennes soon? In La Curruza, the industrial workshops, long occupied by the military industry, will offer themselves a second life in a much more peaceful state. State developer Territoires was instructed by Rennes Métropole to create an original place here, combining a social and solidarity economy, an associative cafe and housing. Much remains to be done to chart the outlines of this project called “Halles en commun”, but its spirit is borrowed from great achievements. We think of Les Grands Voisins in Paris, where for almost five years an incredible temporary living space has been created in a former abandoned hospital. Or the old parking lot of Gare Saint-Sauveur in Lille, where shows, gardens and artists’ studios were staged, waiting to be transformed.

In Rennes, the project will really take shape at the end of March, when the Kurruz halls will be vacated by the Euro-Shelter company, which produces mobile units for medical or military purposes there. “We were left with empty buildings that we didn’t know what to do with yet. The main idea is to preserve this industrial heritage but give it time to think about its future,” explains Mehdi Teffahi, Territoires Operations Manager. On a four-hectare site, there are 11,000 m² of buildings to be preserved. Do what ? A hybrid “car-free” neighborhood with approximately 200 housing units, a wide green pedestrian street and mixed-use offices. But not now. For four years, a temporary right of employment will be granted to fifteen social and solidarity economic structures in Rennes.

In Rennes, developer Territoires wants to turn an industrial wasteland into an alternative area open to a social and solidarity economy. – Territories

The community developer is hosting a breakfast this Tuesday that will feature the entire project and a call for interest in the old boiler house. This building of 220 m² should quickly accommodate commercial activities in connection with the existing structures. Undoubtedly a hybrid place, mixing associative cafe and cultural space. A kind of headquarters around which fifteen structures will gather this summer. “This is a place that will allow us to come together and share our best practices,” explains Tristan Gaillard, co-founder of Em Boite le Plat. Its structure offers restaurateurs reusable packaging to avoid overpacking. Both he and his partner are very excited about the idea of ​​joining Kurruz. “This is a great opportunity to preserve these buildings that have history, breathe life into this place, waiting to see what it will become.”

The old halls of Kurruz will lose their military and industrial purpose to house the social and economic structures of solidarity.
The old halls of Kurruz will lose their military and industrial purpose to house the social and economic structures of solidarity. – Yoann Lepage

La Belle Déchette will likely wait until early 2023 to move into brick halls with their charming metal frame. It must be said that the movement of resources promises to be particularly burdensome. “We feel strong impatience. For now, La Courrouze is still very residential, but that is changing. We saw the arrival of Petite Rennes (bike DIY shop) or Antipode. The area is changing! Tomorrow there will be many actors around us who will create connections, complement each other,” says Julie Orhant, director of La Belle Déchette. In the halls, an association that specializes in reuse will benefit from retail space twice as much as it hopes to be “friendly, open to neighbors.”

Over four years, fifteen hosted structures will receive moderate rents, which should allow them to test their economic model. They will be placed in the halls of the 20th century, which will eventually be demolished. It is time for the developer to tidy up other halls of heritage interest. “The place is arid, very industrial. The task of transforming it into a living space is great, but arouses curiosity. We hope to be able to create an entrepreneurship center there, shared housing projects, workshops and commercial activities open to the public,” says Mehdi Teffahi. What will happen to fifteen buildings in four years? The La Belle Déchette recycling center will remain there, but everything will remain open to the rest.

Fifteen structures to be placed

Developer Territoires has already selected fifteen buildings to be placed in the Halles en commun project. La Belle Déchette, Bâti Recup, L’Atelier Commun, Elan Créateur, L’équipière, Electroni-k, La Caverne, En can le plat, Teenage Kicks, Madeleine Adore, Rennes du compost, Les Animes, Aître, Anne-Elisabeth Bertucci and cartel [BZH] gradually opened their offices there.

Leave a Comment