Convent of the Poor Clares

Since October 2019, the non-profit organisation Zerm has taken up residence in the former convent of the Poor Clares in Roubaix, in order to ensure the gradual reactivation and animation of the spaces.

In the framework of the festival Design is Capital / Lille Métropole 2020, Rotor has been invited to design a space in the former Chapel of the convent, which is listed as a historical monument, to host the conferences of the guest designers of the festival. And also to allow as many uses as possible in the Chapel during the 3 years of occupation of the site.

Affected by low temperatures in winter and torrid heats in summer, it is a place profoundly marked by its architecture - an aspect that can be pleasant sometimes, but that one might want to forget in other moments. In response to these contradictions, Rotor conceived an easily heatable inner space using a high curtain made of ripstop fabric, a reinforced polyester canvas - usually employed for boat sails and parachutes - that prevents air from passing. Easy to fold away, the installation makes the most of the available surface area and the chapel’s asymmetric elevation while providing great flexibility for future uses.

This intervention is based on an economy of means: the quantity of material used to create this sub-space is minimal (about 90 kilos in total). It is also perfectly reversible.

The installation has been built thanks to the help of volunteers.


Design team

Tristan Boniver, Lionel Devlieger, Gaspard Geerts, Beate Zavadska.

Building team

Tristan Boniver, Gaspard Geerts, Beate Zavadska.

Joined by the volunteer
effort of

Siriane Benbahlouli, Roxana Takeh, Ilyas Chaoui, Ibrahim Nabil, Bruno Marinelli.

Supply and confection
of the textil tent


Thanks to

Sophie Boone