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The Lavoirs of Brest

If today, 30 laundries remain in Brest, only five of them are used for their primary function: washing clothes. While some are now unused, others have been rehabilitated and given a second life. The laundry was rehabilitated in Conseil street in June and now wants to be a place of life for residents and neighborhood associations. As for the laundry rue Saint-Malo, in recent years it hosts many shows.

Brest city leveled during World War II and whose heritage has disappeared with the Allied bombs? Nay! "Many people think that there are no assets in Brest says Christine Berthou-Ballot, head of the Heritage Service in Brest. But many prewar buildings dating. "An example of this architectural traces the history of the city? Laundries, built, like in Conseil street or located in Saint-Malo street in the late nineteenth century.

30 laundries in Brest
Today, 30 laundries are listed in Brest, according to the latest census conducted by the city in 2009 "Five still have this feature laundry, said Hervé Séguineau, director of medical services to the City. There is the wash of the Jules-Lesven street, but also those of Kerangoff, Kerraros, Pen Ar Rhun and Brigadier Le Cann street." Closed to the public, they are accessible to all on the day. Just ask for the key to the city councils of district.

As Hervé Séguineau recalls, "there are still people who come to wash their clothes, but it is at the margin. The laundry located in Jules Lesven street is still often used. Regulars know they will meet friends. It is also that the function of laundry, be a meeting place in a neighborhood. "And other laundries in Brest, what do they become? Some are unused, while others, like those in Kervao street in Lambézellec district and Hyppolite -Rolland square, in Saint Pierre district, are integrated with green space and turned into a pond.

Cultural spaces
And then there are those whose function has been completely redesigned. This is the case of laundries in the Saint-Malo street, in Recouvrance district and Conseil street, in Saint Martin district. "In the wash of Saint-Malo st., 80 women were washing their clothes at the same time, says Mireille Cann, founder of "Live Street Association", which manages the laundry. For 10 years we organize shows here and when we started, the washerwomen came there yet. "

Today, more a matter of using the site for its original function. The laundry now has a purely cultural function. The concerts of the famous "Petites Lessives" are held during the summer, as well as dance performances and theater. "This area of ​​400 m² enables a covered and closed the show. It has built a stage, a bar and toilets for it to become a truly cultural space. We're going to work to get better sound quality and it is hoped to create lodges in the house next to the laundry. "

The laundry renovated in Conseil street
In the side of Conseil St., the "Lay Patronage Guerin", locals and the City have taken the concept even further. In June, the laundry, "unused for half a century," according to Yann Wheel, the "LP Guerin" animator, has been completely renovated. Today, a basin, even in water, was planted. The second tank can also be refilled with water for performances. A plot of land has even been turned into shared garden.

The idea is to make a place accessible to organizations and people who want to organize events. It hosted the "Foire aux Croûtes", "Vert le jardin" hosted there "Dance of seeds" and place will be open every Saturday until the Saints." "It's great to rehabilitate a historic place and use it for something else, says Christine Berthou-Ballot. Heritage must not be frozen, it must be alive. "

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