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 the 4 and 5 halls of the old Alstom factories, but rather to feed on them and to develop them. Thus, the original metal structure is preserved but relieved of its imposing concrete walls in favor of windows 4 meters high on the ground floor and translucent polycarbonate for the two upper levels as well as the sheds that cover the vast ensemble. The transparency thus created makes it possible to see from the outside the activity of the workshops, particularly from the front of the school, which houses a large oval wooden structure - a disc-shaped table surrounded by a bench - encouraging encounters 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.

These volumes house in the west the various areas dedicated to teaching and creation - workshops equipped with state-of-the-art machines, work trays and video, photo and performance rehearsal spaces, etc. -; and to the east, in a public part called "Foyer" including galleries of exhibition, a media library for children and the computer room. They are served together by a network of metal bridges.

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

Project title : École des Beaux-Arts
City, Country: Nantes (44)
Project ownership: Nantes Métropole
Mastery of work : FRANKLIN AZZI ARCHITECTURE (agent) and Chabenès & Scott Architectures (execution project management)
Area : 9 827 m2
Cost of works: 27 000 000 € HT
Calendar : June delivery 2017

Photographs: Luc Boegly

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

To learn more, visit ArchiDesignclub the Awards site et of FRANKLIN AZZI ARCHITECTURE

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