The Pass : a science museum unlike any other

photo © le PASS

In Belgium, in Frameries, 250 kilometers of Paris and 76 of Lille, is a really astonishing place: le Pass, Park of Scientific Adventures.


Close to a spoil heap, built on the site of an old coal mining, it preserved part of the mining infrastructures, including one splendid pit-head frame (which supported the elevator making it possible to the minors to go up and go down in the mine shaft), in top of which I went (I was not joking anymore: 64 meters, that gives me the giddiness).

The pit-head frame of the Pass
The pit-head frame of the Pass

The 210 meters lenght “Pass’erelle”, covered of metal, imagined by Jean Nouvel, immediately puts the visitor in the spirit of the place: quietly transported by a travelator, one follows the course of a small animated ball which passes from screen to screen and visits the subjects broached in the place, thanks to nice animations of brilliant Claude Delafosse.

Inside thePass'erelle, designed by Jean Nouvel
Inside thePass’erelle, designed by Jean Nouvel

To take the time to benefit the maximum of the Pass, better is worth to envisage one day, because there are many things to see, very beautiful spaces of exhibition, and many activities. If the weather is nice, envisage a picnic!

The various topics approached in the exhibitions are well delimited: human body and health, inventions, materials, genetics, sport, water. They have each one its space but the path to go from the one to the other takes astonishing passages, Acro-bât is the morst “sporting” with its suspended bridges, tyrolienne,…

If the whole of the place is accessible for all ages, the Pass’âge of the adventurous is dedicated to the 6-12 years, and a new space was open this year: the Pass’âge of the discoverers. Thought for the 3-7 years, he proposes three fields of discovering: the nature, the light and the city. All is at the good size for little ones, they can explore freely, and surprises are numerous.

pass-14-14722-banner-web1-694x373-161214-af-batI worked three times for this brilliant place, and I appreciate really the attention that its museographes bring to the public. Attentive to keep a harmonious ratio learning/playing, Nathalie Cimino and Caroline Vrammout, in collaboration with the mediators, invent intelligent experiments, astonishing paths. The mediators make the exhibitions living by proposing workshops and animations.

Lastly, the care and inventiveness brought to scenography and graphics are particularly appreciable.

Do you know already the Pass or have you just discovered it? Leave a comment below!

All images copyright @ Le pass