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Pre-Madame, the site of the FN arms factory in Belgium - a very important place in the country's history.

Originally the FN factory started in 1889 and was built to manufacture armaments. At the beginning of the 20th century its activities developed rapidly, so much so, that in 1929 the existing workshops were extended. This then became the origin of the present site.

On the 4,8 hectares of this new site, two oversize twin buildings (180 X 94 m and 210 X 73 m) were constructed on two levels. Resting on a forest of 650 pillars of foundations, the upper level of the buildings was designed to support the circulation of heavy vehicles (1500 kg/m2).

The new workshops housed in 70.000 m2 of this industrial fortress began working at full production capacity. In addition to armaments, the FN branched out into the manufacture of new products: cars, trucks, motor cycles, buses, aircraft engines, etc…


The decline began in the mid 1960's. Production began to decline, products moved elsewhere and over the space of several years the workforce declined from 12,000 to less than 2,000.

New Market

In 1991, NEW MARKET SA, bought the abandoned buildings : Pre-Madame became an industrial area and warehousing for small to medium enterprises.  Activities began again in the lower part of the buildings but the upper half remained almost empty. Because of this, the upper part of the buildings began to degrade. Demolition of the unit would be possible only at an exorbitant cost.

The Pre-Madam must live, survive, live again. The Pre-Madam will be transformed into an éco-village.


S.A. NEW MARKET Rue du Tige 13, 4040 Herstal, Belgium Tél. +324 / 240 22 00 ou +322 / 646 62 62