Franklin Azzi Architecture converts Nantes warehouses into art school - architecture and design

Franklin Azzi Architecture converts Nantes warehouses into art school



A pair of former warehouses topped with saw-toothed roofs have been transformed into a school for fine arts by Franklin Azzi Architecture, in the French city of Nantes.

The Nantes Saint-Nazaire Higher School of Fine Arts, which is shortlisted in the Civic and Cultural Building category of the 2018 Dezeen Awards, provides facilities for 500 students within the two converted warehouses.
Franklin Azzi Architecture transformed of the site to suit its new purpose, as well as designing the surrounding public realm to create new pedestrian streets, passageways and an arts esplanade.

The project is part of a larger masterplan for the rejuvenation of a former industrial site in the city's Île de Nantes district, which the architect is overseeing. Overall, 26,000 square metres of warehouses will be transformed into a new cultural campus, which will see the school joined by Nantes University, offices for creative start ups, artists' workshops and a catering facility.

The architects chose to retain only the steel framework of the original buildings, which allowed the internal spaces to be opened up and re-housed beneath the roof structure.
The saw-tooth profile of the polycarbonate roof retains the shape of the original sheds. At one end, the structure forms a canopy sheltering an open-air public space that functions as an esplanade welcoming people into the Higher School of Fine Arts.

The building's enormous frame separates the internal spaces into two distinct halves, which are a...
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