History and the Present: Museum Renovation by Stanton Williams in Nantes
Client: Ville de Nantes and Nantes Métropole
Architect: Stanton Williams
Location: Nantes (FR)
Since 23 June 2017, the Musée d’arts de Nantes is again open to the public. The London architecture studio is responsible for the transformation of this art museum. Stanton Williams Architects have expanded the 19th-century palace and 17th-century chapel with two new structures. The first is home to an archive with a public library; the second is invisible from the outside. Underneath the palace, there is now a new level housing an auditorium, learning areas and additional exhibition spaces.
In 2009, Stanton Williams won an international competition for the renovation and expansion of the Musée d’arts in Nantes. The museum stands in a residential area, a bit away from the central urban axis formed by the cathedral, the castle and the Lieu Unique cultural centre. The new museum concept aims to make the district more attractive: new spaces in the old museum are now devoted to contemporary art, and an improved guidance system will enhance the museum’s appeal for future visitors. In contrast, the architecture itself is diffident, allowing the artworks to take centre stage.