awaken your curiosity!
Science and technology are all around us. They are part of our lives, whether we want them to be or not.
Thanks to interactive exhibitions and activities designed to engage our visitors, SPARKOH! strives to arouse curiosity and encourage people to ask questions about themes connected to science and technology rooted in social issues.
Our goal is to give everyone, especially young people, a taste for science and technology, to offer them the tools to understand the world in all its complexity: these are the missions that SPARKOH! has set for itself.
SPARKOH! offers visitors of any age a full day of relaxation and discovery, against the backdrop of a rather unusual architectural and natural environment.
SPARKOH! opened in May 2000. It now operates as a “société coopérative à responsabilité limitée et à finalité sociale (a cooperative company with limited liability and with a social purpose, or SCRLFS) and receives financial support, thanks to a management contract, from the Walloon Region and the Wallonia-Brussels Federations, as well as from institutional and private partners.
Based in Wallonia, near Mons, the SPARKOH! is built on a stunning industrial site, the former Crachet-Picquery coal mine.
For all : family, school or with a group
SPARKOH! Scientifically proven emotions
SPARKOH! a place full of history
In the 1970s and 1980s , after the gradual closure of coalmines, many former industrial sites became ugly sores in a region struggling to recover.
In the early 1990s , driven by the joint forces of the Walloon Region and the European Union, the idea emerged to convert the former Crachet-Picquery mining site in Frameries, in the Borinage, into a centre dedicated to discussing and promoting scientific, technical and industrial culture.
At the end of a European call for tenders, internationally renowned French architect Jean Nouvel was tasked with the planning, architecture and renovation work involved in converting the wasteland in keeping with the site’s history.
The process resulted in a unique yet multi-faceted site, bridging the gap between the past, the present and the future.
1950s industrial architecture produced some spectacular buildings, some of which, the Belvédère, the Pit-Head Frame and the Machine Room, have been listed as industrial heritage sites since 1989. Jean Nouvel incorporated them into the very heart of a contemporary design using ideas and materials from industrial constructions.
By creating the Pass’erelle (literally, the footbridge) 210 metres long, which passes through all the different parts of SPARKOH! he took his inspiration from the former coalmine. A symbolic link between the past and the present.
The architect Laurent Niget continued with the plans to build SPARKOH!
An historic site
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