As part of the transformation of the Island of Nantes (44), the former Alstom industrial site, 4,5 hectares, has been completely reconfigured. Six halls dating from the mid-nineteenth century now host part of the University of the city, offices or a restaurant. Under the leadership of the architect Franklin Azzi, two of them are home to Nantes Saint-Nazaire School of Fine Arts, a place of bright and spacious creation.

The objective here was not to get rid of the manufacturing character of halls 4 and 5 of the old Alstom factories, but on the contrary to feed on and enhance it. Thus, the original metal frame is preserved but relieved of its imposing concrete walls in favor of bay windows 4 meters high on the ground floor and translucent polycarbonate for the two upper levels as well as the sheds that cover the building. vast set. The transparency thus created allows a glimpse of the activity of the workshops from the outside, especially from the forecourt of the school which houses a large oval wooden structure - a disc-shaped table surrounded by a bench -, encouraging meetings and interactions. .


Inside, the creation of an interior street structures the space, while reinforcing the feeling of decluttering conveyed by the rehabilitation. This north / south breakthrough defines two parallelepipeds in which there are different pieces, installed in "boxes" of various sizes. This spatial imbrication, in "Russian dolls", ensures an effective acoustic and thermal insulation.

"Architecture has to adapt to changes, second lives that may benefit the place. " Franklin Azzi, architect

These volumes house the various areas dedicated to teaching and creation to the west - workshops equipped with state-of-the-art machines, workplaces and video, photo and performance rehearsal spaces, etc. -; and to the east, in a public part called the “Foyer” comprising exhibition galleries, a children's media library and the computer room. They are served by a network of metal gateways.

An exemplary rehabilitation that, while respecting the heritage, offers future artists the opportunity to evolve in a functional and pleasant site.

The project is selected for les ArchiDesignclub Awards 2018 in the category Teaching - Superior

To learn more, visit ArchiDesignclub the Awards siteby Franklin Azzi et by Chabènes & Scott Architectures 

Photographs: L. BOEGLY

Post your comment

  • No comment on this article.

ADC Awards

ADC-Awards-logo-2017 250-01
The most outstanding architectural achievements elected by the professional community

>> Read more



miaw white logo ok

An International Award to the best products for architects and layout professionals

>> Read more



5, Saulnier Street - 75009 PARIS

T: + (33) 1 42 61 61 81

F: + (33) 1 42 61 61 82

[email protected]

about us

my account 

Mobile version