Parc des Ateliers

Location :  Parc des Ateliers, Arles
Architect :  Gehry Partners LPP (architecte de conception), Studios Architecture (architecte d'exécution)
Package :  Glass Boxes, Block Façade, Drum, Precast panels, Interior glazed walls
Scope :  Technical design and implementation monitoring of the core and shell and interior glazed walls
Date :  2012–2017

Construction of a foundation for photographic art as part of the redevelopment of the Parc des Ateliers in Arles

The project is built in the Parc des Ateliers, the former SNCF railways maintenance site, now redeveloped as a campus for cultural and artistic events, with the renovation of existing industrial buildings and the construction of new additions.

The aim of this project was to reinforce Arles’ identity as a hub for culture by creating an attractive cultural centre. The masterplan, which incorporates the whole industrial zone belonging to the railways, lays out an arrangement of buildings associated with different activities in order to induce interaction between the various disciplines represented on the site.

The new building is on the extreme northern edge of the Parc des Ateliers, in close contact with the city to the north, and the existing buildings of the Parc to the south. The large glazed rotunda, 54m in diameter and 16m high, forms a transition space between exterior – a piazza on the street – and interior – the 56m-high tower. The design of the latter takes its inspiration from the complex forms that characterise the nearby Alpilles mountain range, so present in the skyline from the city. On a smaller scale, the architectural composition of the tower’s cladding makes reference to the Romanesque and Roman stone constructions in Arles, in which distinct blocks are assembled to form the buildings that have come to symbolize the city.

The envelope of the new buildings is made up of different elements. The block facade (5000m2, 11,000 blocks) constitutes the main element of the tower; its insulating panels are load-bearing and support the stainless-steel cladding blocks. The glazed boxes (46 interior and exterior elements) pierce the block facade to bring natural light into the spaces. The Rotunda (4000m2) is at the heart of the project; it defines a large lobby space between the piazza and the main building. Finally, the facades in large precast reinforced concrete panels (8500m2) are externally insulated.

For further information on the project and construction: