© Cyrille Weiner

THE BOULINGRIN COVERED MARKET

RESTORATION AND ARRANGEMENT OF A REINFORCED CONCRETE FEAT FROM THE 1930'S

Since the Boulingrin covered market was opened in 1929, this building has been a part of the identity of Reims. The building was a symbol of the future and the reconstruction following the destruction of World War I, in particular for its modernist architecture, materials, and the use of what were for the time futuristic techniques. Built to host a covered market, it was designed by architect Émile Maigrot, however, it was the engineer Eugène Freyssinet who provided the ingenuity regarding the installation of the thin shell in reinforced concrete, a technique he had patented.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner

A centre of city life and a feat of reinforced-concrete construction, the Boulingrin Covered Market escaped demolition and recommenced its activity as a covered market in the centre of Reims.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Véronique Nosbaum

Use of the building ceased in 1988 on account of its dilapidation, to the extent that Reims City Council was considering its destruction. However, the market was placed under protection in 1990 when it was classified as a historic monument. Following a long period of study, the French State and City of Reims decided to finance a far-reaching restoration, and to restart the building’s original vocation as a covered marketplace.

© Alain Hatat

The restoration of the elements in concrete, which were suffering from advanced degradation, required a high degree of technical skill, but the real difficulty was to adapt and bring this fragile building into compliance with the standards in force for its current usage, without changing the nature of its architecture. We considered all the elements that composed the project with the same care and attention: the vaults, the windows, the ironwork, and the elegant Art Deco facilities designed by the architect.

In 2015 this project was awarded the Europa Nostra prize for European cultural heritage.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Antoine Mercusot
Location
Reims
Project type
Restoration
and compliance with standards
Program
Commerce
Project owner
DRAC Grand Est
/ Ville de Reims
Team
Chatillon Architects
Budget
€ 25m excl. of VAT
Timeline
2008-2012
Awards
Prix du patrimoine culturel
de l’union européenne
Europa Nostra 2015