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#IDN2022: L’École de design Nantes Atlantique on l’Ile de Nantes

An exceptional setting for L’École de design on l’Ile de Nantes in 2022. Photo credits: MIMRAM/JOUIN MANKU/GPAA Agencies. Images: Ida +

A major new step for L’École de design

To continue its development, L’École de design, which has been located since 1998 on the Chantrerie site but is currently operating from several different sites scattered around the city, will be based from 2022 on l’Ile de Nantes. These new premises in the heart of Nantes’ creative district will be the opportunity to consolidate all the establishment’s activities under one roof and to affirm its development strategy of creating a school which is a place for interacting and working openly and collectively with the outside world, particularly with companies.

The site selected for L’Ecole de design is located between Boulevard de la Prairie au Duc and boulevard de l’Estuaire, just a stone’s throw from Les Nefs on l’Ile de Nantes.

Contributing to the development of the region and its appeal

Located in the Quartier de la Création not far from other educational establishments, L’École de design will be able to build new bridges in order to create value and projects centered on the creative industries.

L’École de design’s transfer strengthens the Research/Education/Innovation approach which aims to establish design as an innovation practice to be introduced in companies, to the people responsible for research and training.

A strong international ambition for L’École de design

The context of the Quartier de la Création urban project is a real opportunity to boost L’École de design Nantes Atlantique’s international profile.

This strategy helps to extend the region’s influence throughout the world since more than one in four graduates in recent years now has an international position. With over 250 Master’s graduates expected in the year 2022, 25% of whom are international students, L’École de design intends to consolidate its place amongst the top international design schools.

L’Ecole de design’s new building on l’Ile de Nantes will be located next to the future urban park. Photo credits: MIMRAM/JOUIN MANKU/GPAA Agencies. Images: Ida +

A flexible and functional property development

The successful project involves the construction of an 11,500 m² building for L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, as well as an office building of 4,600 m² and a public parking lot with 501 spaces for Nantes Métropole. Its size and scope make it one of the most important infrastructures dedicated to design in France since the opening of Saint Étienne’s Cité du design.

ADIM Ouest, the property development subsidiary of Vinci Construction France, will be in charge of the construction project. The project has been designed jointly by a consortium of three developers composed of Marc Mimram and GPAA architects’ firms and the Jouin Manku design agency.

From an architectural standpoint, the project has a truly unique style in relation to the programs already developed on the Prairie-au-Duc and is fully integrated in its location through the choice of materials for the façade, its carefully balanced volumes and softened edges. It is the result of a coordinated approach between architecture and design: the project development fully integrated a design process from the first phases of analysis to the formalization of the building system, with the active involvement of designer Patrick Jouin.

The future design school is organized around a central plaza, a place for socializing and meeting people. Photo credits: MIMRAM/JOUIN MANKU/GPAA Agencies. Images: Ida +

The School building’s design is based on a layering of three distinct parts: the base, the main body of the building and its roof. The transparent base will enable the new École de design to open out onto the city and be an extension of the public area. The main body of the building looks like it is hovering above the public area and will house the main educational activities. Its smooth curved lines make it stand out from the neighboring blocks. To the south, the school will be bordered by the future Prairie-au-Duc park, a landscaped area of 5 hectares, created by l’Atelier Jacqueline Osty and Associates, on the site of the old rail terminals.

The central plaza will form the heart of the School. It will be a multi-purpose and adaptable space that can be used as either a lecture hall or an exhibition venue, so that knowledge is shared by merging disciplines and projects.

Discover the interview (in French) with Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku on designing the project.

The office building

The property development’s distinctive identity is strengthened by the similar architectural treatment given by the winning team to the office building, which is a natural extension of the school. In the future, this tertiary block is intended to become an extension of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique depending on its future requirements for extra space.

Construction schedule

- Autumn 2018: choice of the Designer-Builder/Developer consortium
- 2019: survey and planning permission
- Second semester 2019: commencement of work
- 2nd semester 2022: delivery of the property development (school + parking lot + offices)