Back to projects

Halles du Boulingrin

Restauration des halles centrales du Boulingrin, marché couvert Prix du Patrimoine Culturel de l’Union Européenne 2015, concours Europa Nostra, catégorie conservation.

Emile Maigrot et Eugène Freyssinet, 1929

The Boulingrin Covered Market was originally destinated for demolition, but after much discussion, it was saved. This was due to its classification as an Historical Monument, with its new legal advantages in 1990. But it was only in 2006, after many deliberations and hesitations, that Reims Municipality finally decided to re-launch the site as a covered market.

The project is divided into three parts. The highly technical restoration of various types of concrete is made to recognize the achievement of engineer Eugène Freyssinet, but not only. The conservation work also includes the more sensitive « Art Déco » layouts of architect Émile Maigrot in order to reinstate his work in the art of the 1920’s. The project also has to be brougt into compliance with current building and architectural regulations.

This subtle work demonstrates the value of the Architecture of the XXth century Architecture. It also demostrates its ability to provide locations that are memorable and in sympathy in the world in which we are live today.






The Boulingrin project was launched just after World War I. The construction of the new covered market was already included in the reconstruction plans of Major B. Ford. But it is architect, Émile Maigrot, who was selected as the laureate of the architecture competition of 4th May 1923. However, the fatherhood of technical exploit remains engineer Eugène Freyssinet.

As an employee of the Company Limousin, he developed patents, particularly on the thin-profiled-decking made of reinforced concrete. The numerous plans of formworks, steel-fixing and the implementation details, and also the calculation design reports, are all preserved in the archives of the French architectural Institute, « Institut Français d’Architecture » (IFA). It demonstrates the high technical degree used of the project. The construction site started at the beginning of 1927, and finished with an official opening to the public in October, 1929. The photographic record of the construction site shows the continuous use of the reinforced concrete that constituted such a challenge.

From the start, the Market also act as a meeting place. Since its opening, the covered market has become the economic and social core of the Boulingrin district.

If the use of reinforced concrete anchors the Boulingrin Covered Market in the XXth century, the purity of its geometrical shapes revealed by the light and the material saving, bring us back to the sources of High Architecture : unclassifiable, timeless, universal.


  • LocationReims (51000)
  • ClientDRAC Champagne-Ardenne/Ville de Reims
  • Schedule2006-2012
  • Cost/Area22 M €
  • TeamFrançois Chatillon, architecte mandataire
    Léopold ABECASSIS économie,
    BRIZOT MASSE Ingénierie,
    SETAC, Bureau TCA