Situated in the Pas-de-Calais département, La Chartreuse de Neuville has been a heritage site for culture (CCR) since 2016. Endowed with a diverse history, it today works to promote artistic and societal innovation.
THE HERITAGE SITE
La Chartreuse de Neuville was rebuilt in 1875 under the direction of the architect Clovis Normand, on the site of the 14th-century medieval monastery. It became a printing house for the Carthusian Order in Europe, however the site was not used for long, and in 1905 the monks moved to Parkminster in the UK. The site lost its religious vocation until it was purchased by the Petites soeurs de Bethléem in 2000. In 2003 they also left the monastery.
In 1905, the hospital of Montreuil-sur-Mer created a nursing home on the site, and between 1915 and 1939 it served as a Belgian civilian and military hospital. From 1947 to 1998, La Chartreuse housed the physically disabled and mentally ill, children, the elderly, and those excluded from society. From 1908 to 1912, La Chartreuse was the location of a utopian artistic experiment initiated by Jules Rais and Ludmila Savinky, who formed the association ‘La Clairière’ to offer residences to artists from a variety of disciplines.
THE CULTURAL PROJECT
Since 2008, a team has been restoring life and meaning to La Chartreuse with one objective – in one generation, to make La Chartreuse de Neuville an officially recognised foundation serving the public, with ownership of the whole site, working on a sustainable economic and social model which links general interest activity with a commercial hospitality venture. The site’s new vocation is to be a European centre for renewal, exchange and engagement, at the service of a more humane and responsible society through societal innovation and artistic creation.
The ambition of the centre is to encourage collaborative and innovative interaction between different interest groups (entrepreneurs, artists, researchers, local people and public bodies), to offer a space for experimentation and diffusion, and to be open to a wide public, including young people and the vulnerable.
The project sits neatly alongside the Carthusian architecture of the site and its history as a monastery and hospital. These are permanent reminders of the relationship between society and the individual, the creation of mutually beneficial communities, societal innovation through experimentation, living and creating together.
The centre is dedicated to artistic and societal innovation and bases its activities on four priorities: Creation and heritage, Insertion and training, Societal innovation, Economic and functional management.
The Chartreuse project is the fruit of a collaboration between parties who are as diverse in their form (public, private, associations) as in their scale (local, national, European, global). The project aims to make the site a place conducive to innovative interactions, the exchange of views and the initiation of new collaborations, including with the vulnerable or disadvantaged.