[Dossier] Espace Saint Julian's: a new place for intergenerational co-living in the heart of Laval

[Dossier] Espace Saint Julian’s: a new place for intergenerational co-living in the heart of Laval

Espace Saint-Julien is a multi-generational home consisting of seven poles: serviced housing for seniors, student housing, after-school reception, boarding school for middle and high school students in the city, small nursery, solidarity café, and home health.

A multigenerational home creates joy and social bonds

Four generations united in a good space

It gives new life to Laval’s historical and architectural heritage: the old Millennium Hospital Saint Julian’s, covering 6000 square meters and which closed its doors in 1974 after the departure of the nuns who ran it. For nearly three centuries over the city. Its location, in the heart of the city, promotes convergence and engagement within the space and towards the outside.

More than 300 people of four generations will gather every day in this place of life unlike anywhere else, from the very young to the very old, including primary school children, college students, high school students, students and the working people.

Thus, Espace Saint-Julien is a kind of village located in the heart of the city, where everyone can find their place, meet people of all ages, can give and receive. It will allow different generations to live together, in an exceptional environment, conducive to good and pleasant encounters. The communal living spaces will enhance this meeting and common activities, including a historic chapel located in the heart of the buildings and intended to be reopened to the public.

The project, which is multi-generational, social and educational at the same time, is implemented by a team of volunteers and professionals with diverse skills. It is fully funded by donors, foundations, companies and individuals, in addition to supporting bank loans.

In a society where social ties are stretched, and even broken, loneliness is a great suffering for the elderly. However, they are not the only ones affected by this scourge: people who are vulnerable, due to age, illness or disability, children and young people in difficult social or family conditions, and students who live far from home are also often immersed in isolation.

Benoit Grou, President of the Saint Julian Endowment

Seven interlocking, interactive and unified poles

the home

The Logis is a serviced residence for seniors that allows seniors to live in the home, on their own or
As a couple in a safe environment. It consists of 68 apartments, ranging from T1 to T3, as well as a park. Each apartment is furnished by the tenants, and a private kitchen and bathroom offer them independence and tranquility. Tenants can also take advantage of services, quality food, and a nearby nursing home. Logis will open in the spring of 2022.

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no cabani

La Cabane will be a meeting place, after school, for 40 children between the ages of 7 and 12 from all neighborhoods
Laval. This extracurricular welcome, under the supervision of educators, volunteers, elderly and young people from
The boarding school will provide them with time to play, relax and extracurricular support. At La Cabane, children will learn about social bonds, respect themselves and others, and will explore intergenerational relationships. La Cabane will open its doors at the beginning of the academic year in September 2022.

boarding school

The boarding school, located in the heart of Espace Saint-Julien, will accommodate about sixty students from preparatory and secondary schools in Laval, accompanied by a team of professionals. This place will provide them with the quiet needed for their studies, as well as sports activities, play areas and services for others and precious fraternity. The boarding school, already located in Laval, will move into the old hospital building in the fall of 2022.


La Coloc is a student residence on Espace Saint Julian’s. About ten furnished apartments T1 and T2 will be provided to students who wish to live in a quiet place and in an environment that promotes encounters. They will be able to participate in the life of the space and support the elderly and children, for example by offering private lessons or helping with shopping. La Coloc will open in the fall of 2022.

La Nid

Le Nid is a spacious and bright little nursery that accommodates twelve children between 0 and 3 years old, supervised by four early childhood professionals. The Montessori-inspired educational project will give pride of place to ritual activities: storytelling, sharing a snack, gardening, etc. Le Nid, which will be worn by intergenerational nursery startup Tom and Josette, will open in September 2022.

no cal

La Cale is a solidarity café of 170 m² and 30 places, open to residents of Espace San Julian as well as to foreigners. In particular, it will be operated by people with disabilities. A place for relaxation and communal living, it is a place conducive to charitable exchanges between staff and volunteers of all ages.
Many activities will be organized in its three rooms and on its balcony: theme evenings, conferences, DIY or solidarity workshops.

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Health House

Its six practices will be open to beneficiaries of Espace Saint-Julien as well as to residents of the neighbourhood. for him
Therapists, including two GPs who came to Laval with their families, were attracted by this project with its human and social dimension.

Strong values, create a place where life is good


Espace Saint-Julien aims to welcome all those who wish to join it, regardless of their history and weaknesses. Everyone finds their place there, as well as responses adapted to their vulnerabilities: loneliness, age-related disability or disease, academic, familial and social failure, difficulty obtaining care, or even the search for meaning.

service the other

Each of the space magnates pledges to promote brotherhood and respect the dignity and well-being of all. All residents, children, adolescents and volunteers can be instrumental in supporting each other. Thus Espace Saint Julian’s takes an innovative approach that reinvents personal assistance to bring about a change in the perception of vulnerability.

the responsibility

Espace Saint-Julien is built on an economic and social model unique in France. A true laboratory of reinvented hospitality, it will allow the creation of activities and jobs in the city center of Laval, providing an original response to current societal needs.

An ambitious project, rooted in history and in Laval’s current needs

History of a symbolic place in Laval

The history of Saint Julian’s begins in the eleventh century when, on the initiative of the masters of Laval, a chapel and a chapel were established to welcome the poor and pilgrims. From that time on, they were dedicated to Saint Julian, the first Bishop of Le Mans who preached the area in the 3rd century, and who was famous for his charitable works.

In 1650, the nuns of the Hospital Saint-Joseph, a congregation founded in La Flèche in 1636, cared for the sick at the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Julien. At this time, new buildings were erected on the site.

After the French Revolution, Saint-Julien became a co-ed hospital, and part of its family was provided for the army. Until the 20th century, Saint Julian’s was the center of Laval Hospital. However, despite the modernization work, the hospital has become very dilapidated and cramped. Therefore, the hospital center left the historic site in 1974 to settle on the heights of the city, in a new facility.

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Saint-Julien then, after major works, became a nursing home for the elderly, opening its doors in 1978. Thirty years later, Saint-Julien emptied its occupants again: the family was moved to EHPAD Saint-Venerand. A large part of the building is then closed, and another part serves as a reserve for Laval Castle or as offices for the cultural services of the Town Hall. The premises quickly deteriorate, which prompted the Town Hall to put it up for sale.

In 2016, the old hospital began a new chapter in its history, when dozens of Laval volunteers launched a somewhat crazy gamble: rehabilitating the old hospital to turn it into a multigenerational home.

In San Julian’s Space Origins

In the origins of the Espace Saint-Julien project, there were a few volunteers involved in various
Laval Associations. Their associative activity allowed them to see the difficulties they faced
By city dwellers: fragmentation of generations, isolation of the elderly,
The search for support, meaning, and lack of medical service.

When the old hospital buildings were put up for sale by the city council in 2016, Laval residents decided
to represent. Having written a multigenerational, social and educational project aimed at expanding structures
The associations already in the city, they bought the building and the land at the end of 2017,
Thanks to the support of Michel Lelièvre, the promoter of Sarthe in love with and touching heritage
Project these volunteers.

Then they create an endowment fund that allows both of them to benefit from it
Financial means through sponsorship, and to ensure project governance in a spirit of indifference and sustainability. Then the volunteers armed with their crew of pilgrims were left to find their own money to allow them to release a loan and launch the project.

After three years of fundraising, work begins in March 2021. Various poles
Open all year 2022: the nursing home will receive its first patients
In February, and the elderly will move to Logis in the spring. Other electrodes will open between
June and December 2022, and the Espace Saint-Julien will open in September.

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