Winning design announced for new Jules Verne Museum in Nantes

21 May 2024
Credit: Neutelings Riedijk Architects
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architects
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architects
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architects

Neutelings Riedijk Architects/ars architectes urbanistes




Historic flour mill set to be transformed into new cultural destination

Tenderstream member Neutelings Riedijk Architects and ars architectes urbanistes have won the competition to transform a historic mill and its surroundings in Nantes, France into a museum, public promenade, and garden. The team was qualified earlier last year out of 160 entries to create the Cité des Imaginaires, consisting of a museum - dedicated to Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes – together with the surrounding Jardin Extraordinaire, which will establish a picturesque connection from the former quarry to the Loire river.

Under its colourful cladding, the “Moulins de Nantes” - or CAP 44 - building conceals a former nineteenth-century flour mill built using a revolutionary process for the time, as one of the first large structures in the world made from reinforced concrete, using the process developed by François Hennebique. The design challenge was to renew a concrete structure that pre-dates current regulations, in a sustainable way.

The solution proposed by the winning team preserves the heritage structures within an interior space and houses new facilities within new buildings. From the promenade, visitors will start their journey in the covered garden, which is open to the Loire, and can drop into the café installed in the old machine room. Elevators and a large staircase are installed in the central area, illuminated by a glass roof. The Jules Verne museum collections will be unveiled in a new exhibition, in a setting that emphasises the author’s connection to the Loire, its port, and its natural surroundings. As a last stop on the journey, the roof garden and its expansive terrace are accessible to all, providing all-round views of the city, the quarry, and the estuary that flows towards the sea.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 16.09.2022 here

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