a major fine arts museum in western france has re-opened its doors to the public, following a transformation by london-based architecture practice stanton williams. after being closed for six years, the renovated musée d’arts de nantes incorporates several key extension buildings alongside the original 19th century palais and 17th century oratory chapel. the additional 4,000 square meters of gallery space allows the museum to exhibit more of its contemporary art collection.
the museum’s new archive building viewed from the passing street
all images by hufton + crow, unless otherwise stated
in developing the project, stanton williams sought to introduce a contemporary layer to the site’s existing historical monuments. establishing a democratic and welcoming environment, the musée d’arts de nantes now includes an auditorium, a library, new educational facilities, an archive, and an external sculpture court. meanwhile, the new landscape design connects the museum to the adjacent place de oratoire and botanical gardens.
a consistent palette of materials has been applied throughout the scheme
a new extension, named the ‘cube’, is connected to the palais with a spacious gallery spanning the cours dupré. here, four floors of exhibition space are linked by wide gaps that allow natural light to enter the building. on the south side of the extension, a staircase made of marble and translucent laminated glass provides a visual counterpoint to the palais’ existing staircase.
the institution’s existing architecture has been updated
a consistent palette of materials has been applied throughout the scheme, a gesture that helps create the impression that the museum is one monolithic volume carved from a single block of stone. comprising 350 km of translucent silicone threads, a site-specific installation by susanna fritscher occupies the museum’s existing patio area, framing the newly renovated space.
the museum was closed for a total of six years while construction work was carried out
as part of the museum’s inaugural exhibition program, stanton williams has also curated an exhibition that details the processes involved in the making of the project. two films will feature in the exhibition; the first documents the design process behind the new museum through sketches, drawings and model making, while the second time-lapse film, by producer and artist ben cullen williams, captures the journey of light as it travels through the revamped institution.
musée d’arts de nantes opens to the public on june 23, 2017.
gallery spaces are naturally and brightly illuminated
the palais’ grand staircase
an installation by artist susanna fritscher occupies the museum’s patio area
the work comprises 350km of translucent silicone threads
image by stefano graziani
a staircase consists of a suspended curtain wall made of marble and translucent laminated glass
the complex now incorporates an auditorium, a library, and new educational facilities
the external sculpture courtyard sits between the archive and the ‘cube’
stanton williams sought to add a contemporary layer to the site’s historical monuments
musée d’arts de nantes opens to the public on june 23, 2017
an architectural model of the completed musée d’arts de nantes
image © jack hobhouse
architecture in france (377 articles)
hufton + crow (39 articles)
stanton williams (6 articles)
a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.
the building will operate on 100% renewable energy from day one of operation and will include solar panels built into its façade.
whatever happens on the earth's surface, life in 'plan B' will continue with comfort and functionality.
the project takes the form of a fully accessible building with integrated green terraces and gardens dedicated to rehabilitation.
the design team sought to re-imagine the factory typology by bridging the gap between environment, transparency, and manufacturing.