Briancon - Serre Chevalier Plans Big Development At Former Barracks

The quarters of the 15/9 regiment and its old barracks already boast a brand new cinema, a multimedia library as well as new housing.

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2022 will mark the beginning of new building work on two new hotels, a new medical-sport centre and local administration offices. 

A new « Cité Administrative »

The new local administration centre being built in the old military zone will be modern and accessible, created jointly by the town of Briançon and the « Communauté de Communes du Briançonnais ». It will help to coordinate local public services; looking to the future, the Communauté de Communes will regain a central place in the territory to act in favour of its inhabitants. Work begins spring 2022

A new generation hotel/youth hostel

The old « Berwick » barrack will be renovated as the « Millenials Hotel »: a new-generation hotel/youth hostel with 390 beds, a restaurant-bar seating 270 and spaces for shops, while retaining its historic military-style architecture. Work begins late 2022. Planned opening summer 2024

A new 4 star hotel

The renovation of the « Caserne Colaud » barrack into a four-star hotel will retain the authenticity of this unique place. It will be equipped with 83 en-suite rooms, a restaurant, bar and a spa, aimed for a sporty clientele and bringing new life to the old military zone, positioning it around such values as authenticity, well-being and « art de vivre ».Work begins early 2023. Planned opening summer 2024 

A medical-sport centre

The building of the old army « pavillon de l'habillement » (clothing distribution hall) is soon to become a new medical-sport centre, with a climbing wall planned to open in early 2023, retail spaces for famous international brands, as well as spaces available for paramedical professionals specialised in sports treatments. 

A tree-lined park

Work on the 4-hectare 15/9 Regiment park starts this spring 2022. This new tree-lined park will provide playgrounds for children, a street work-out zone and even a stream like the « Gargouille » in the Old Town. Planned opening 2024

Commercial and retail spaces. « Le Mess » is a new modern building architecturally appropriate for the local area, with 500 m2 of business spaces on street-level, facing the park. Work begins spring 2022. Opening planned 2024

 The 159th Regiment of Alpine Infantry (RIA) arrived in Briançon in 1890. The history between the regiment and the history of skiing in France is very interesting: in 1901-1902, Captain Clerc, commander of the 7th Company of the 159th RIA obtained authorisation to initiate a few soldiers to skiing. In 1904, Captain Rivas of the 7th Company of the 159th RIA opened the “Ecole Normale du Ski” in Briançon. He set up a workshop to make skis, allowing the military and the local people to get equipped cheaply. He even designed the “Briançonnaise” ski mould which was economical as made of local larch wood. The men of Briançon massively joined the 159th RIA ski school, and once liberated form the army, went back to their villages where they became ski instructors or ski makers. Captain Rivas edited in 1906 the “Petit manuel du skieur”, a training manual for military skiers.

After WW1, the regiment came back to Briançon, and General Marjoulet created the “Brevet de skieur” exam and the “Centre d’Etudes de la Montagne”, created in Briançon.

Then came WW2, after which only one battalion was recreated in Briançon in 1951. Many Frenchmen did their national military service in Briançon, before the RIA was dissolved in 1994.

From 1994 to 2009, the barracks held the Centre National d’Aguerrissement en Montagne”. In 2016, some of the buildings were destroyed, and the works on the new “Coeur de ville” began. 

Today, the two major barracks (called Berwick) remain.


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