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BUILDING
 
 
Carré d'Art
Arts Centre
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DESIGNER
 
 
Norman Foster

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DESCRIPTION
 
Carré d'Art Nimes Norman FosterMédiathèques exist in most French towns and cities. Typically they embrace magazines and books as well as music, video and cinema. Less common is the inclusion of a gallery for painting and sculpture. In Nîmes, the interaction within the same building of these two cultures - the visual arts and the world of information technology - held the promise of a richer totality. The urban context of Nîmes was also a powerful influence. The site faces the Maison Carrée, a perfectly preserved Roman temple. The challenge was to relate new to the old, but at the same time to create a building that represented its own age with integrity.

Carré d'Art Nimes Norman FosterThe Carré d'Art is articulated as a nine-storey structure, half of which is cut into the ground, keeping the building's profile low in sympathy with the scale of the surrounding buildings. At the heart of the plan is a glass-roofed atrium, with a cascading staircase, which references the courtyard vernacular of the region. This space exploits the transparency and lightness of modern materials to allow daylight to permeate all floors. The lower levels house archive storage and a cinema. Above are two library floors, with art galleries on the upper two levels. A reception space on the uppermost floor opens out to a shaded café terrace overlooking a new public square.

The creation of this urban space was an integral part of the project. Railings, hoardings and parked cars were banished and the space in front of the building was extended to create a pedestrianised place - a new social focus and an appropriate setting for the Maison Carrée. Lined with café tables and thronged with people, the square has reinvigorated the social and cultural life of Nîmes. Together with these urban interventions, the Carré d'Art shows how a building project, backed by an enlightened political initiative, can provide a powerful catalyst for reinvigorating the social and physical fabric of a city.
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
France [France]
Region
Languedoc-Roussillon
District
Gard
Town
Nîmes
Address
16 Place de la Maison Carrée - 30031 Nîmes
 
 
Telephone
+33.04.66.76.35.70
Fax
+33.04.66.76.35.85
Website
E-mail
carreart@mnet.fr
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for cultural activities
Art galleries and exhibition areas
Libraries and media libraries
Museums and buildings for exhibitions
Art museums
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Commercial buildings
Bars, cafeterias
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
1984 - 1987     project winner of competition
Realisation
1987 - 1993
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AWARDS
 
1998
Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design
1993
'Interiors' USA Award
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THE BUILDING IN CINEMA
 
Title
  How much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster?
Directed by
Norberto Lopez Amado, Carlos Carcas
Nationality
United Kingdom, Spain
Year of production
2010
Cast
Norman Foster, Tony Hunt, George Weidenfeld, Richard Rogers, Bono, Deyan Sudjic, Paul Goldberger, Carl Abbott, Alain de Botton, Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Anthony Caro, Richard Long, Buckminster Fuller, Ben Cowd, Cai Guo-Qiang, Ricky Burdett, Spencer de Grey, David Nelson, Narinder Sagoo, Nigel Dancey, Loretta Law, Mouzhan Madidi, Stefan Behling, Jurgen Happ, Gerard Evenden
Building's role
Appreciable
Annotations
Producer: Elena Ochoa

Executive Producer: Antonio Sanz

Writer & Narrator: Deyan Sudjic

Music: Joan Valent

Director of Photography: Valentin Alvarez
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Helio Piñón , "Lo simple no siempre es claro / Simple does not always mean clear", Quaderns d'arquitectura i urbanisme 252, invierno/winter 2006, pp. 126-131
"Norman Foster", a+u. Architecture and urbanism 310, july 1996, pp. 72-93
Geert Bekaert, "Norman Fosters Carre d'art in Nimes. L'ivresse du reel/Norman Foster's Carre d'Art in Nimes. The drunkenness of the real", Archis 10/93, october 1993, pp. 27-35
David Cohn, "Mediterranean light. Carre d'Art, Nimes", Architectural Record 10/93, october 1993, pp. 62-71
"El Beaubourg del sur. Mediateca del Carre d'Art, Nimes/The Beaubourg of the south. The Carre d'Art mediatheque, Nimes", Arquitectura Viva 32, septiembre-octubre/september-october 1993, pp. 46-53
Norman Foster, "Foster Associates. Carré d'Art, Nîmes", GA Document 37, september 1993, pp. 36-49
Yehuda Safran, "Norman Foster. Le Carré d'Art, Nîmes", Domus 751, luglio agosto/july august 1993, pp. 25-35
Elisabeth Allain-Dupre, Tony Fitzpatrick, "Gentle giant. Foster's Carre d'Art in Nimes", Architecture Today 39, june 1993, pp. 42-44, 47-48
Michele Champenois, Jean-Paul Robert, "Foster a Nimes, histoire du projet/Foster in Nimes, the story of a project", L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 287, juin/june 1993, pp. 4-11
Adrian Gale, "Contributing to a city", World Architecture 24, 1993, pp. 84-87
Jonathan Glancey, "Nimes schemes. Architects: Foster Associates", The Architectural Review 1059, may 1985, pp. 31-39
Patrice Goulet, "Nîmes. Concours pour la Médiathèque et le Centre d'Art contemporain, octobre 1984", L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 236, décembre/december 1984 [Habitacion individuelles], pp. 61-69
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ADDITIONS AND DIGRESSIONS
 
 
Moving
Norman Foster on Art
Moving Norman Foster on Art Carré d'Art NimesExhibition: 3 May / 15 September 2013

» IMAGES
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CLIENT
 
 
Ville de Nîmes
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
sq.m. 18.000
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Ove Arup & Partners - Tony Fitzpatrick, London
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STAFF
 
Project
Sir Norman Foster and Partners, London
Associate designers
Ken Shuttlework, David Nelson, London
Collaborators
Graham Philips, Robin Partington, Rodney Uren, Paul Kalkhoven, Alex Reid, Arthur Branthwaite, Chris Eisner, Tim Quick, Max Neal, Chris Abell, Nic Bailey, Serge Belet, Ruth Conroy, Arno de Bussièries, Katherine Delpino, Pascal Desplanques, Shaun Earle, Nicholas Aldridge, Bertrand Feinte, Martin Francis, Garnet Geissler, Jean-Pierre Genevois, Bruce Graham, Michael Haste, Edward Hutchinson, Michael Jones, Alexander Lamboley, Huat Lim, John McFarland, Sophie Mers, David Morley, Jesper Nelson, Irene Pham, Victoria Pike, Etienne Renault, Joel Rutten, Hartwig Schneider, Kriti Siderakis, Ken Wai, Cindy Walters, Martin Webler, Louisa Williams
Interior design
Norman Foster e Sabiha Foster
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners, Monostudio
Text edited by Foster + Partners
Courtesy by Foster + Partners, Prestphoto | architectour.net
Carré d'Art Nimes Norman Foster



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