McAdam Architects unveil plans for Chinese Trading and Expo centre in Northern France
The European International Trade Centre Terra Lorraine (ITEC) is a 6 million sq m retail and logistics complex strategically located on a 130 hectare brown field site at Illange in Lorraine region, at the borders of Germany and Luxembourg, with 50 million potential customers within 200km.
The trading city will comprise up to 3 million sqm of flexible retail space including 4 expo halls of 250,000 sq m, hotels and accommodation for 40,000 visitors and staff, 500,000 sq m of logistic storage, and a new customs clearance terminal. A new passenger railway and goods rail connections are planned.
The main volume, designed over 8 levels is split into four zones, each with a large central courtyard space, which acts as an entrance and orientation point to the complex. Recreational spaces and functions are to be provided for the thousands of visitors expected.
A series of hotels, staff accommodation and office buildings are positioned as stand-alone buildings around the perimeter of the main volume and there is a 50 hectare landscape garden on the roof. Access to the trading centre is mainly to be provided by a rail shuttle service connecting to mainline station in Metz at 15min intervals.
Internally, customer movement in the retail space is enabled by a sophisticated arrangement of escalators and horizontal travelators, and there will be a dedicated GPS system for locating retail outlets. The general strategy for the development has been given the go-ahead by the General Council of Moselle and is presently in planning process.
The project, secretly in the making for the last 2 years has the been commissioned by the International Investment Fund Comex Holdings in cooperation with a number of Chinese organizations. James McAdam of McAdam Architets, says:"It is a rather unusual project and has revealed how global economics are working in real estate today, whether we like it or not, it is perhaps the way these mega retail developments will go in the future."