Living in Rout Lëns

81% of the building area of Rout Lëns is dedicated to housing. This represents an area of approximately 131,628m².

In 2035, an estimated 3,000 people will live in the new Esch neighbourhood.

No fewer than 1,400 accommodation units will be built to house them.

Quality of life is at the heart of the project. It goes hand in hand with a wide range of different kinds of living spaces. Each building will also have green spaces, playgrounds and meeting places nearby.

To make life easier for residents, a neighbourhood concierge service will also be available on the site!

Marketing for the first units is due to start in 2023.

Get in touch to express your interest and to be kept up-to-date about the progress of the project.

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6 types of accommodation so there’s something for everyone

The project encompasses different kinds of accommodation, which can be summed up as follows:

  1. “Émergences” accommodation
  2. “Jardin du ciel” accommodation
  3. “Towerblock” accommodation
  4. Student accommodation
  5. Retirement homes
  6. Houses

The size of the units will vary according to individual needs. For example, there will be studios with 30m² of floorspace, as well as 3-bedroom units with more than 90m² of floorspace!

The majority of the apartments will be between 45m² for 1-bedroom flats and 70m² for 2-bedroom units.

  • When you’re a child, what a joy it is to learn and grow just a stone’s throw away from where you live!

    The new school is one of the neighbourhood’s flagship projects. It will give the youngest residents the chance to take ownership of their new home, immersed in the rich history of those who went before them.

    The school is full of joy where people can come together. It will make the neighbourhood more appealing over time by encouraging future parents to move here.

    The public consultation process revealed the importance of integrating every generation. That’s why the Esch authorities will begin construction work on the school complex in phase 1.  The school is expected to open in 2027.

  • Another ambition of Rout Lëns is to provide the home for the elderly that they deserve. Thanks to the retirement home, they will be able to enjoy all the facilities and comfort of living in a small, vibrant, caring town.

    With children nearby, they will be able to enjoy their retirement, with the added reassurance that the new hospital (CHEM) isn’t far away.

  • Rout Lëns is a 5-minute train journey from the University of Luxembourg. It will also be accessible by bike, on foot or by bus!

    This makes the new neighbourhood an ideal location for student accommodation. Luxembourgers from the north, inhabitants from around the borders and from all over the world are bound to bring a bit of cosmopolitan energy to Rout Lëns.

  • 5% of the building area in Rout Lëns will be dedicated to offices and shared working spaces. The Halle des Turbines could even, in time, house a co-working space.

    Border workers and local residents will be able to work in a pleasant setting where urban living meets nature, a 20-minute train journey from the capital of Luxembourg. Close to the French border, the area is also very easy to access by bike.

  • Cultural events will transcend history in Rout Lëns!

    Exhibitions, concerts, shows, conferences and much more can be hosted in a dedicated space in the heart of the Halle des Turbines or, why not, under the metal legs of the immense Portique.

  • In 2023, the “Maison du Projet” will be opening in the Magasin TT to showcase all the different ideas that will be coming to life as the work progresses.

    It will be the neighbourhood’s first welcoming meeting space. The perfect place to come together and reflect on how all of these initiatives are being rolled out!

  • This is the most common kind of accommodation. They are housed in mid-rise buildings with 7 or 8 storeys (ground floor plus 6 storeys and ground floor plus 7 storeys), so rise up, emerging from the ground.

    These lovely apartments are designed to be dual aspect and/or corner units, offering residents as much light as possible.

    They will have a balcony and/or loggia, and will range from studios to 1, 2 or 3-bedroom apartments.

    The Émergences have 8 or 9 storeys and are suitable for split-level apartments with the bedroom(s) and bathroom upstairs.

  • Accommodation with “Shared rooftop gardens”

    Two buildings, one near the Halle des Soufflante and the other to the west of the site, will have rooftop gardens. These buildings are part of the Totems. They have 8 or 9 storeys, offering a panoramic view of the neighbourhood.

    These will house split-level apartments with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms.

    Their residents will be able to benefit from the shared hanging gardens.

  • Rout Lëns will include 2 high-rise tower blocks.  The taller (60m) will be reminiscent of the red tower in Esch-Belval. Apartments and studios will be the focal point of the neighbourhood’s skyline.

    IKO would like these to be built with timber frames. A real technical feat for such tall tower blocks!

    Using wood in construction has lots of ecological benefits including CO² storage, ease of transport and no water consumption. Wood is very resistant to fire, as well as being an excellent thermal insulator and a very good moisture regulator.

    Building with wood fits in perfectly with the project’s values in terms of sustainability.

  • A large student accommodation complex is planned for the centre of Rout Lëns. It will benefit from all the local services available, including public transport.

    The ground floor will be set aside for socialising. The other 4 floors will be divided into mini studios with small balconies.

  • Close to the centre and the school, the retirement home will be made up of two low-rise buildings facing each other. These will be connected by a private garden dedicated to residents’ well-being.

    The building will include studios as well as 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. Most will have a balcony looking out on to the garden.

  • Detached houses will be built in the western part of Rout Lëns near the Poste d’Aiguillage. They will create a bridge to the houses in Hiehl.

    There will be a mixture of private and shared gardens to offer residents a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by nature.

  • Built in the 20th century, this building once sold all kinds of things, both for the mines and for its employees. It also housed a brewery.

    Its 3 storeys and facades studded with decorative columns undeniably give it real character in terms of architecture, heritage and historical interest.

    It used to be a sociable meeting place, and the idea is to preserve these key functions. For example, its impressive metal frame mean that it is a suitable home for a microbrewery and a market selling local produce. Two projects that epitomise the project’s values.

    While we wait for these two initiatives to come to life, it is the 1st building to be renovated. From 2023, it will house the “Maison du Projet”.

  • Built in 1901, the Halle des Turbines is the site’s flagship.

    On industrial sites of this size, turbines were used to generate the electricity needed to power the steel industry.

    The Halle des Turbines is a large rectangular building with variable ceiling heights. Its structure and facades are of great architectural interest.

    In the new project, it is set to become the hub for culture and new technologies. Exhibitions and concerts will be put on in a multipurpose room. One area is also expected to be used for co-working.

  • This building, which resembles a gigantic myriapod, was used to fill the minecarts with molten iron.

    In the new project, it will be given back its lofty space. The area between its metal legs is due to remain empty so that pedestrians can marvel at the structure. They will probably also be able to linger in front of curtains of climbing plants. Hanging hops could be grown here to supply the micro-brewery for example.

    Dedicated to social events and seasonal fairground activities, the area around the Portique is designed to be a meeting space that people can take ownership of.

  • A “Soufflante” is the part of a blast furnace that supplies the combustion air needed to operate.

    The traditional architecture of the Halle des Soufflantes, which was built in the 20th century, makes it a striking symbol of the site. In its centre, it is 20 metres tall.

    The plan is to leave its design as it is, making as few changes as possible.

    The very thin walls and large bay windows make it impossible to heat. Which makes it the perfect venue for urban sport! For example, a 16-metre climbing wall could be installed here, which local climbers will love. Other covered sports could also be practised here.

  • Much more modest in size, the Poste d’Aiguillage (which means signal box) also dates back to the 20th century. It once directed the trains that travelled to and from the site.

    Its original hat shape earned it several nicknames, including the “U-boot”, which means submarine, or the “mushroom”.

    It will be converted into unique accommodation for tourists in search of an unusual experience.

Key dates for the accommodation construction work

The first few years will be spent building the eastern part of the site. This area is a direct extension of the centre of Esch-sur-Alzette, so starting here will help connect the new neighbourhood to the existing town as quickly as possible.

More information about the different phases of the work

General Questions

Have you got any questions? Our FAQ section is the fastest way to get the answers you’re looking for. You will also find some explanations of lots of the subjects discussed during the consultation meetings.
  • Previous demolition work and current soil remediation projects are being carried out by ArcelorMittal. This is an essential step, and unfortunately it is hard to do discreetly. If, despite the precautionary measures that have been taken, this work is causing you any inconvenience, please send an email outlining your concerns to IKO Real Estate’s continuing work on the project will take place in several phases. Ongoing information will be provided for each new stage of the project.
  • The project includes an urban mobility plan with underground car parks at the entrance to the site, which will limit the number of cars at ground level. We are also working to promote soft mobility as much as possible with the introduction of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, an efficient national cycle path and a cross-border cycle path and bike stations within the project. Pedestrian travel will be prioritised, including in particular with the Allée de la Culture Industrielle. Workers will be able to benefit from the creation of a BRT stop and the proximity of the train station. Parking options will be appropriate and designed to fit in with new concepts including shared car parks, car sharing and flexible parking. The number of parking spaces will be adjusted according to requirements to avoid any overflow in nearby neighbourhoods.
  • Obviously this new neighbourhood is also designed to meet the growing demand for housing. The focus is on quality of life as well as on integration into the environment. This means that new buildings are designed to occupy a small surface area in order to free up public space and open spaces and limit soil sealing. The site will offer a number of different housing options, distributed throughout the project. You will see, for example, that there will be “overlapping houses” with some “Émergences” accommodation, “emerging” from the ground and livening up the landscape. As well as this, although our masterplan guarantees a level of consistency, we will also be organising architectural competitions for some plots to ensure architectural diversity. There are 2 tower blocks for the whole site. These will be strategically located to minimise their visual impact on the environment. The new Rout Lëns neighbourhood is destined to become a friendly, enjoyable place to life. That’s why there will be a range of things to do, both during the day and in the evening, and as much during the week as at the weekend. It will be an active, vibrant neighbourhood that will promote intergenerational diversity with a new school, homes available for sale and to let, student accommodation, a retirement home and co-living. The emphasis will be on shared spaces such as community gardens, multi-purpose rooms, public squares, urban furniture etc.
  • In accordance with the nature protection law, high quality biotopes with significant ecological value have been established in areas of an equivalent quality to begin with before being subject to compensatory measures. The Rout Lëns PAP is based on Phytolab’s landscaping and ecological approach, where the emphasis is on the presence of green structures (urban forests). The concept has a certain ecological value. As a result, the green structures introduced will, after a certain time, create significant ecological value. The number of trees shown in the graphic does not imply that the 700 trees planned will not be planted. The PAP must allow for evolutionary factors in terms of their position in the space (a lamp post, network or window for example), which is why not everything is shown on the plan. However, this commitment is included in the ecopoint assessment of the site as part of the environmental permits and IKO will be subject to penalties if this obligation is not met.
  • A number of studies were carried out to determine the feasibility of retaining all or part of the Mollereï. First of all, it was a purely technical and enclosed concrete structure (ore silos) and therefore very difficult to convert and use for something else.  One study looked into the possibility of a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists from the Plateau Barbourg opposite, but this proved to be technically rather complex, particularly in terms of the slopes required. It is worth remembering that this story of local heritage began 40 years ago. This means that we started to destroy and dismantle this industrial site 2 generations ago. Buildings were left behind that were iconic. There were 2 types of building: this concrete one and all the metal structures. The urban aspect of the project, not the heritage dimension, is about working for future generations, in other words, it’s about remembering that the buildings that we have preserved and that we are going to link together with the Allée de la Culture Industrielle, are buildings that will be given a new lease of life, not for the benefit of the last people who worked at the site, but for their grandchildren. We have therefore chosen to preserve the iconic parts of this building, which are the metal gantries and silos. As a tribute to the original site, they are regarded as one of the key elements of the Allée de la Culture Industrielle, which is at the heart of the project.
  • This was the subject of authorisation given by Esch’s municipal authorities (building permit no. 20/0221) to Arcelor Mittal, who have embarked on the corresponding processes in accordance with the legislation in force in Luxembourg which, unlike France or Belgium for example, does not allow for a “Risk”-based approach (EQRS = Evaluation Quantitative des Risques Sanitaires, or qualitative risk assessment) which would have made it possible to keep the earth in place rather than dig it up. And so the only possible solution given the current regulations was to excavate contaminated soil and take it to dedicated landfill sites. In this case the soil is being taken to Arcelor Mittal’s existing landfill site in Differdange. In order to ensure that these processes are carried out correctly, Arcelor Mittal has provided IKO with a protocol for the management of polluted soil, which indicates how these processes should be carried out, certified by FONDASOL. In order to optimise excavation work on the site, all the car parks were located in the pollution hotspots that had been identified in the preliminary studies. This means that on the one hand we don’t have to level off areas where it is not necessary and on the other hand we can avoid having too many pockets of too many cars at ground level. This means we will be able to eliminate cars and thus offer a much better quality of life and a peaceful place to live for future residents. However, these car parks still offer some flexibility, including in particular for urban logistics or last mile solutions.
  • The project pays particular attention to the presence of nature on the site. To do this, we are embracing the principle of “reinstating nature”. In practical terms, this will manifest itself, for example, in the creation of roofs set aside for lawns grown on chalky soil in order to establish a habitat suitable for pyramidal orchids (a protected species identified on the site), in the establishment of an urban forest in the middle of the buildings, and in experiments next to the Halle des Soufflantes and the Magasin TT, designed to help us understand how plants are adapting to climate change by integrating other, more exotic species. The project plans to plant approximately 700 trees, with the aim of creating a forest atmosphere right from the start. The trees will be of various sizes in order to promote biodiversity. Ultimately, an impressive 3.5 hectares will have been given back to nature! When it comes to protecting the species identified on the site, compensatory and definitive action is planned. These compensatory measures are already being carried out by ArcelorMittal, and IKO Real Estate will continue with them during the development phases. Examples include the creation of bat shelters and the construction of gabion walls that will serve as new habitats for lizards.
  • The new Rout Lëns neighbourhood has been identified as a priority sector for housing developments in the Housing Plan, so 30% of the housing built on the site will be low-cost in order to respond to Luxembourg’s housing crisis. In addition to this, a huge amount of work has been done on the variety of solutions offered in order to cover all accommodation needs that people will have throughout their lives. So there is accommodation for students; when you get your first job, you will be able to rent an apartment; you start earning more and want to get on the property ladder, so you can buy your first apartment; you start a family, which grows, and then you’ll be able to buy somewhere bigger. The different layers of the neighbourhood mean that we can offer this diversity. So for example, there will be ground-floor apartments, which will be in collective dwellings, but which will be designed for individuals, with a private entrance and a garden. There will also be housing on the higher floors, offering inhabitants the chance to live among the trees. Then there will be apartments on the top floors, where residents will be able to enjoy unobstructed views of the wonderful landscape. So this project is offering a particularly diverse range of solutions, thus meeting everybody’s different needs.
  • The project has been designed to make sure that the new neighbourhood fits in harmoniously with existing residential areas. The peace and quiet of the Hiehl/Grenz neighbourhoods will be preserved and the new configuration will even offer them better links with town, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, thanks to a temporary footbridge, while the future Bus Rapid Transit line (BRT) is being built. Rout Lëns will also extend the centre of Esch. The shops and businesses it will house will complement those found in the town centre, and in particular on Rue de l’Alzette. The type of shops and businesses in the new neighbourhood will be different, including, for example, local stores focusing on short supply chains (urban farming). It’s not about building a new shopping centre, but rather a local community of shops and businesses, and an urban neighbourhood that it’s a pleasure to live in.
  • Among other things, the project includes a school complex for everybody’s benefit. Working with the Esch-sur-Alzette municipal authorities, this was included from the very start of the project, and will be located at the entrance to the site so that it will connect all the neighbourhoods with each other. It will include a school, a day care centre, a crèche and a gym. Right next to the site, and at the heart of the project, there will be a number of sports and leisure facilities that will complement this offering (football stadium, fencing room, music conservatory etc.)

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