Interactive exhibitions, organized entertainment, an extraordinary location where with games and adventure you can make surprising discoveries…This is the Pass…but there’s even more than just that!
For all : family, school or with a group
The Pass is located in Wallonia, next to Mons. The Pass is built on the site of a former coal mine.
The Pass, a whole world of experiences !
An historic site
19th and 20th century
13th century : small-scale coalmining.
18th century : beginning of the industrialisation of coalmining activities.
19th/20th century : the Crachet-Picquery site is one of many coalmines in the Borinage. Thousands of men, women and children work there.
After the 2nd World War : coalmining facilities are modernised, including the machine room and the metal pit-head frame, which is 64m tall.
1960: the “Crachet-Picquery” coalmine is permanently closed.
1989 : the pit-head frame, the Recette (now the Belvédère) and the Machine Room are listed as industrial heritage sites by the Walloon Region.
In the 1990s: the idea of giving Wallonia a centre dedicated to spreading the word about science and technology starts to take form.
1997 : architect Jean Nouvel is appointed to redesign the site.
2000 : the Pass, the Scientific Adventure Park (Parc d’Aventures Scientifiques et de Société – Pass) opens within the context of European Objective 1 funding for Hainaut.
The Pass, a place full of history
In the 1970s and 1980s , after the gradual closure of coalmines, many former industrial sites became ugly sores in a region struggling to recover.
In the early 1990s , driven by the joint forces of the Walloon Region and the European Union, the idea emerged to convert the former Crachet-Picquery mining site in Frameries, in the Borinage, into a centre dedicated to discussing and promoting scientific, technical and industrial culture.
At the end of a European call for tenders, internationally renowned French architect Jean Nouvel was tasked with the planning, architecture and renovation work involved in converting the wasteland in keeping with the site’s history.
The process resulted in a unique yet multi-faceted site, bridging the gap between the past, the present and the future.
1950s industrial architecture produced some spectacular buildings, some of which, the Belvédère, the Pit-Head Frame and the Machine Room, have been listed as industrial heritage sites since 1989. Jean Nouvel incorporated them into the very heart of a contemporary design using ideas and materials from industrial constructions.
By creating the Pass’erelle (literally, the footbridge) 210 metres long, which passes through all the different parts of the Pass, he took his inspiration from the former coalmine. A symbolic link between the past and the present.
The architect Laurent Niget continued with the plans to build the Pass.
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