Usine De Consenvoye
After the Great War, a factory was built out of concrete and glass in the north of France, at the edge of the Meuse valley, some 20 kilometres north of Verdun. It produced bolts, nuts and box spanners up to the mid 1970s.
In 1998 the monumental six-storey building just stood there like a toothless monster.
Joost van Velzen and Ans van Dalen wanted to build and found their ultimate challenge here.
The building has regained identity and function without losing its characteristic singularity and factory atmosphere.
With an apartment, guest accommodation, workshops and outdoor space it has been transformed into a place for people to be and go their own way.
There is ample space. Both literally and figuratively. There is room to work and to relax. The building inspires action and quiet, exuberance and contemplation. It welcomes sharing and working together, and it also offers room to withdraw.
With the available spaces the factory can accommodate a variety of groups of people and their activities. From family celebration to yoga workshop, from retreat to weekend carpentry, dance, acting, sculpting or painting courses.
The hilly surroundings are perfect for bicycling and walking. The Meuse, within walking distance, is a beautiful spot to go swimming and canoeing.
“Next to” the factory, some 150 metres away, is a former trackman’s cottage that is available for holidays.