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Ecocday Special, Esch2022 and the New European Bauhaus

By Advertorial Lunedì, 08 Novembre 2021
Expo Dubai, Italian pavillion Expo Dubai, Italian pavillion Photo by EcocNews

“Today the aim is to introduce you to 3 exciting projects from the European Capital of Culture Esch2022, where the theme of the New European Bauhaus can be found. Starting with the Belval area, proceeding with a specific Esch2022 project and finally a future-oriented showcase project in the Esch2022 region”, said Thierry Kruchten, Head of Tourism, Mobility and Sustainable Development - Esch 2022.

The occasion was the International Forum, the opening event of the European Capitals of Culture Day, organized by the Matera – Basilicata 2019 Foundation in partnership with the Commissioner General of Italy and under the patronage of the European Commission. 

Below is the entire speech by Thierry Kruchten


“To begin with, the "Belval" area serves as a very good example to show that culture is certainly one of the pillars for a better quality of life for all the citizens in the Esch2022 region. Therefore, culture is also part in all the reflections and actions of the Luxembourgish Department of Spatial Planning.

Belval, a former steel site, was gradually transformed into a modern city quarter where culture, innovation, tourism, inclusion and productivity come together. The first building, the largest concert hall in Luxembourg, opened in 2005. Belval was also an important part in 2007, when Luxembourg and the Greater Region held the title of European Capital of Culture. At that time, the old blower hall was used as a place of culture for exhibitions.

Over the years, more and more important research centers have settled in Belval. In addition, the national university also relocated its headquarters to Belval in 2015. In this context, new living space were gradually built for students and all kind of people.

Despite this modern change, the old buildings have been preserved. The old blast furnaces still tower high above the area today. The former Möllerei has been transformed into a library and the Massenoire has always housed exhibitions about industrial culture.

On this area, where all the core ideas of the European Capital of Culture Esch2022 can be found, larger exhibitions and events will take place in 2022 and beyond.

A very good example is the Möllerei mentioned earlier. The last third, which has not yet been renovated, will be used from 2022 to host internal exhibitions in the field of digital art. Another example is the so-called "Skip" building, which was dismantled in the center of Esch in 2021 and rebuilt on Belval. The Esch2022 children's and youth program will find its place in this structure.

These are just a few examples that perfectly illustrate how a European Capital of Culture can help to create more sustainable, inclusive and beautiful places.

Another very interesting Esch2022 projects are the so-called “Third places” which embody the spirit of the New European Bauhaus very well.

Tiers-Lieux Culturels

To meet the national need for creative spaces, the Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, in partnership with the Esch2022, wishes to contribute to the development of cultural projects. In order to do this, the idea for a call for projects to favor cultural third places was born.

The cultural third places are embedded throughout their territory and position themselves between lofty cultural institutions and on-the-ground residents. Cultural third places promote a culture of experimentation, staging and coproduction of knowledges and cultures.

As part of a call for projects, 3 projects were retained and were subsidized with up to 400.000 euros; the Bâtiment 4, Ferroforum and DKollage. In order to get this co-financing and in order to be retained, the individual projects had to consider a large number of criteria. First of all serve the general interest and even if limited in time, the project has to aim for a process of positive change or lasting impact.

Other criteria were:

- Incarnate European values and identities

- Consistency with the concept and strategy of Esch2022 (keyword: Remix Culture, Nature, Yourself, Art and Europe)

- It must be a place which favors co-creation and co-working

- Active participation of diverse audiences

- Territorial anchoring

- Social innovation

- Diversity of actors

- Added value in terms of social cohesion and solidarity

- Sustainable development as a key element

Rout Lëns – A sustainable, innovative, model district

The last example shows that Esch2022 is part of a whole and part of a future-oriented region where everything meshes with one another. Be it the European Capital of Culture, the Unesco Man and Biosphere Label received in October 2020 or the international building exhibition from 2022 to 2032, where the New European Bauhaus will play an important role and where it will all be about cross-border cooperation.

In such a future-oriented region, it is hardly surprising that exciting projects will continue to be realized in the future. A showcase project is the so-called "Rout Lëns" on an old industrial wasteland in Esch.

Focused on its inhabitants’ quality of life, the new Rout Lëns district will extend over 10.5 hectares and will be home to a school, local shops and services, flexible and innovative work spaces, housing, public and leisure facilities, public spaces and green areas. To preserve and enhance the industrial heritage, several outstanding buildings will be restored.

A neighborhood open to all, open to all possibilities, where everyone is free to shape their lifestyle to the rhythm of their ideas, their desires and their time. A graphic territory that reflects the state of mind of the new district: both anchored in its history and its industrial heritage, but turned towards the future, comfort, responsibility and new lifestyles.