To live somewhere you have to linger in a place, to stay, even if only for a short time. This is the experience that we want to give to visitors / participants of the Maison POC Housing, located in the Saint So Bazaar. Born from a collaboration between two architecture firms, BLAU and Studio Rijsel, Maison POC At Home aims to provide a comprehensive overview of projects in this area.

Some fifty POCs will be displayed to illustrate the diverse initiatives in this exhibition, which is more of a topographical collection than a sparse selection.

The visitors must make up their own minds about so many aspects of living at home – such as communal spaces, housing, construction, education, furniture, and design process. These experiences depend on the public.

We group this wide display under the term domesticity, building on Gaston Bachelard’s notion: “every truly inhabited space carries the essence of the notion of home.” Models, large photographs, and projections allow us to understand what values are universally shared and also what is deeply personal. Domestic space has become increasingly important in recent years and even more so in the period we’ve just lived through. Contributors from different fields: Hortense Soichet (photographer), Alain Berteau (designer) Sophie Delhay (architect) and Alice Cabaret (urban planner), share their visions of domesticity and how we live in our surroundings.

Participative Housing _ Lille Bois-Blancs _ HBAAT _ Fréderic Delesalle Photography


HOMESCAPE _ Domestic landscape. MAISON POC HOUSING is a shelter. A refuge. A lodging.

We can live in it for the duration of a visit. “Any truly inhabited space carries the essence of the notion of home,” G Bachelard

The value of this shelter is magnified by our current health crises. How to be at home, happy at home, and at the same time part of a community? A shelter is above all else a place for our endeavours.

Maison displays diversity. It is a landscape of projects at different moments on a timeline (embryonic stage, development, or the process of completion), and created by an equally diverse group of minds. This landscape was created by POC participants who used artifacts and their uninhibited imagination to illustrate their projects’ essence. The artifacts are scattered throughout the house as reminders of these regional initiatives.

We are rooted in this place. We inherit a past and its physical legacy. Indeed, legacy is not only the expression of institutional and large-scale buildings, but also, and above all, the material that makes them. This material is so regional that it is embodied, lived, and transformed. It is the essence of our cities. The brick, the material of the 1930’s houses, worker’s homes, make up this legacy.

Man is at the heart of this ecosystem. He is the one who lives, the one who plans, the one who acts. The domestic space is built and shaped by these combination of these activities, these spontaneous and personal endeavors.

These experiences show how a region can be gently transformed for the better by the simple sum of individual actions. It is these actions that are housed inside the home.

Next a shelter for all. Domesticity is how we have linked these initiatives. It is at once shared by all, as a physical condition of well-being, and at the same time profoundly individual: I close the door behind me and in my cocoon, I am surrounded by intimacy.

We are the memories of where we have lived, the recollections of homes. This ensemble of memories accompanies us throughout each move. Our streets, our neighbors, our schools, and the businesses set the tone of the place we live.

Hortense Sochet, Espaces partagés, La Noue, Montreuil, 2011.

When you’re a kid, you transform your space, your room: we make a fort with a few sheets, we place our toys in it and create a narrative resembling reality. Imagination is fertile and it is the place of escape.

As we grow older, we transform our homes to fit our family. We move walls, make furniture, remove paint or repaint with a color we prefer. We make spaces our own; we live in them. With the advent of DIY programs and kits, we have the ability to transform. We shape our home in our own image and it evolves with the family. It is our HOMESCAPE and it is ours. A home is transformed until it can no longer house the needs of our current lives.

At the same time, this feeling of home can be exported. This feeling of well-being at home tends to move into other places such as work and public space. Domestic furniture appears in office spaces: sofas, lamps, tables, and carpets recreate living rooms to offer a protective and reassuring feeling. In public spaces, similar furniture can be seen. New ways of interacting have been imagined: we’re moving away from the typical bench to encourage people to stay, share and interact.

This movement has been led by professionals. Designers are redesigning spaces and furniture conducive to interactions and creativity in offices. Architects propose housing as individual as it is flexible and adaptable to residents. Spaces embrace all possibilities and leave room for the life’s surprises and have flexible structures.

Citizen initiatives are emerging and we are moving out of our homes to improve the places we live, work and play. Thresholds are fading away: a movement is taking place from the inside out to reclaim streets and parks; it involves the most private spaces and the most collective and public one.

We want the diversity of elements presented here to encourage daydreaming and boost energy. To start again and say that everything is possible.

Marie Blanckaert,BLAU
Edouard Cailliau et Thomas Lecourt,
Studio Rijsel


Maison POC Housing is both an exhibition space and above all else a place of life. It houses three features:


There is a common denominator regarding the diverse POCs: the artifacts. These artifacts work together to shape the landscape of regional projects. Their functions as an atlas to this project, a collection of fragments, particles and samples.

Each artefact is an invitation to discover. We give the visitor / participant the opportunity to create connections for himself in order to individually experience the exhibition and


15 POCs will be showcased based on their progress and impact on the theme of home life. This is an opportunity to take a more in-depth look at the way teams transform the subject in different fields and on different scales: ecology and renovation, human work, technological advances, design methods, affordable housing, urban renewal, art in the city, etc…


We establish a unifying trend in home life, from the starting point of domesticity: we feature several projects by important contributors who have come to reveal the connection between the POCs and this general theme. This is also an opportunity to investigate the home (read housing) in light of this recent lockdown period. The Homescape will plunge us back into the domestic universe, but it is one filled with works by artists and architects.


OK, but to do what? Working, exercising, communicating, learning, etc… the permeability of the domestic space, already stressed before the pandemic, takes on a whole new dimension now. We will never be at home in the way we were before. Are we going to re-examine our interiors? Will the answer be evident? Living in a place is an extension of our capacity to invest in it. Will this need for flexibility travel upstream to architects? Designers? How do we redesign our social spaces? This question is of course at the heart of the Maison POC HOUSING and will be explored in discussions and exchanges that will take place during the peak program week for the house.

Guillaume - Lille (France) ©leconfortduconfinement


The Saint So Bazaar will welcome POC At Home as part of the new series by Cours St So (focusing on new ways of “residing” in the workplace) in a particularly attractive moment: its grand opening. Now it is currently under construction.

With its local expertise in bringing icons back to life and its programming reflecting new lifestyles, the Saint So Bazaar is the ideal location for POC At Home.

It has a large south-facing terrace and it connects to Saint Sau via Hall B – which will host the Arc en Rêve exhibition – and shares an entrance on the Camille Guerin side.

As part of a major project in the Lille area, POC At Home will also contribute to the experience of the venue when it opens. An intangible connection will link the two.

Bazaar St So Chantier waao ©Claudia Vilela
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