Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie is developing its headquarters in Seraing (Belgium). The cornerstone for the Castle Cockerill extension was laid on February 28, 2012. This project, representing an investment of 15 million Euros, is to transform a former industrial building into an administrative and technical center. Completion of the new building called “L’Orangerie” is scheduled for June of 2013. The complex “Orangerie-Cockerill Castle” will house nearly 600 people (currently about 320).
The extension of the CMI Group headquarters continues its activity and its local presence in Wallonia while preserving the uniqueness of a place that is filled with history: the Cockerill Castle. The project aims to be innovative and to develop CMI features you would expect from the headquarters of an international group in expansion. The accommodations and new ways of working will encourage the development of technical knowledge, and thus cultivate the legacy of two centuries of industrial activity and international influence.
Bernard Serin, Chairman and Managing Director of CMI Group: “I want to place this day under the heading of ‘continuity and adaptation’ — ‘continuity’ of the industrial activity that John Cockerill launched on this site nearly 200 years ago, and ‘adaptation’ of CMI to a changing environment: the urbanization of the Seraing site, activities that grow more and more toward technology and management, an increasingly larger Group, and ever-evolving lifestyles, work practices and staff aspirations.”
The new building will be named “L’Orangerie.” The name evokes what made the reputation of Cockerill Castle during the 18th century: its garden. Featuring exotic greenhouses and an orangery, the “Garden of Seraing” was admired by contemporaries. Considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, it supplied the Court. Fruit and vegetables were regularly sent to Liege, Bonn, and Arnsberg. During the war, in 1784, conservation measures were enacted to continue to maintain the garden and keep the orange trees. It is said that the steward and gardener of the estate, Mr. Englebert, protected the orangery with particular zeal… just as CMI intends today, with its new building, to protect and grow its expertise and its capacity for innovation.