Stanton Williams receives planning permission
for Musée d’Art in Nantes

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Dezeen Wire:
planning permission has been granted for Stanton Williams' proposed transformation of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes. The comprehensive renovation of the existing museum and construction of a new 5800m2 extension is due to begin in October with completion scheduled for autumn 2013.

See our previous story on a laboratory at Cambridge University by Stanton Williams.

Here is some more information from the architects:


Stanton Williams’ Musée d’Art in Nantes receives planning permission

Stanton Williams’ €49million scheme for the Musée d’Art in Nantes, has received planning permission. In autumn 2009, the practice won an international competition to transform the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, one of the leading regional galleries in France. Phase 1 of the project will start on site in October 2011 and is due for completion in autumn 2013.

The museum will be comprehensively renovated, while an adjacent site will house a new 5800m2 extension for the display of twenty-first century art, as well as administrative and curatorial facilities and an external sculpture court. It will be known upon completion as the Musée d’Art de Nantes.

The project aims to transform the image of the museum from a closed and introverted institution to one which engages fully with its urban context, whose presence in the cityscape will be more strongly asserted.

The design strategy creates an architectural and cultural promenade whilst also improving the relationship between the museum and its setting. Visitors will begin their journey in a series of improved public spaces around the museum, with sculptural installations taking the museum into the street. Visual connections will be created between the refurbished galleries of the original museum, drawing visitors through the spaces.

The new building responds to its context through its materials and scale. Above a marble plinth, marmarino plaster is used to create a smooth effect akin to that of the local stone, resulting in a monolithic quality and a sense that the building has been carved from a single block of stone. Large openings provide glimpses into the galleries from the street, animating the museum’s setting. Reflecting local practice, a consistent materials palette is used inside and out. The result will be a building, which defines a new image for the museum, yet is firmly rooted in its surroundings.

When complete in 2013, the new and refurbished buildings will shape a new identity for the museum, clearly expressing its different functions. The treatment of their elevations, in terms of scale, massing, and the provision of openings, will relate the museum better to its context, offering a welcoming setting for the Grand Musée d’Art.

Patrick Richards, Director at Stanton Williams explains: “The new museum will offer state of the art facilities to exhibit the museum's impressive collections of art and allow to expand the ambitious program of exhibition that have helped the muséum to establish a strong reputation as one of the leading museum in France and abroad. The natural daylit galleries of the Palais have been the inspiration for the new extention with it's dramatic light wells and transluscent marble facade.”

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