La Manufacture des Allumettes: Bringing a historic heritage site to life

3 minutes of reading

A massive project undertaken almost 10 years ago, the Manufacture des Allumettes was converted and refurbished into rented social housing for the residents of the agglomeration. This innovative approach has two objectives: to preserve one of the town’s historic monuments; and to respond to the territorial issues faced by the whole region.

On Friday 8 February, the Allumettières site in Trélazé, a commune in Pays de la Loire, was inaugurated. This extensive rehabilitation project, launched about ten years ago, saw the emergence of a programme of 52 homes in the former halls of the Manufacture des Allumettes. Built in the 1920s and permanently closed in 1982, the “Manu”, as the locals call it, is a former match factory and an emblem of the town. The teams involved in this project worked in close collaboration with the main players in the region, including the Regional Office for Cultural Affairs (DRAC) for Pays de la Loire, and Trélazé Town Council. Residents can now enjoy superb surroundings and quality housing that meets energy consumption, environmental and economic standards.

“This project is in total harmony with the drive to protect existing architectural heritage, whilst at the same time proposing economically feasible housing”

Pierre Monteillet, Construction and Heritage Promotion Manager – Immobilière Podelhia


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This project was the fruit of the partnership* between the designers, architectural firm Latitude, Bouygues Bâtiment Grand Ouest and the client Immobilière Podeliha, and it conserved and restored some of the most important architectural elements of the Manufacture. This challenge to transform an abandoned site into an attractive showcase for the town paid off. The Allumettes site is a prime example of how empty spaces can be converted. The French Elan Law, which was passed in 2018, is intended to facilitate this kind of project throughout France, and thus allow a considerable amount of social housing to be built over the next few years. There are almost 4 million square metres available for use in Ile-de-France alone. It is a real economic and social issue in the regions.

*The partners in the design-realisation group: Bouygues Bâtiment Grand Ouest (agent and constructor), Agence Latitude (architect), AUA Structure (structural consultants), ALTEREA (thermal and fluid consultants), BIM tech (BIM management and BIM modelling)