Our competition entry for the conversion of the former Franciscan convent in Deauville seeks to reinterpret the usage and meaning of the cloister. In enhancing the historical attributes of the site with new, imaginative programs, this new cultural center becomes an urban hub for the city and its residents and visitors.
The project preserves the sacred nature of the existing, historical cloister, restoring it to its original character with sculpted greenery, fountains, and light installations. This calmer, more “enclosed” courtyard serves as a counterpoint to the adjacent, “contemporary” cloister, suspended over the complex and housing temporary exhibition areas. Beneath this volume, one finds a multipurpose area for receptions, events, and cultural happenings.
Programmatic elements are kept to the ground level and R+2 levels, with the intermediary level serving as support, archival, and office spaces for management and personnel. In addition to exhibition and event zones, the complex includes a media library, an auditorium, music and film studios, children’s workshops, community gardens, a café, gift shop, and info desk.
The building proudly displays the unique juxtaposition of its historical elements and modern additions. Visitors are greeted with surprising atrium spaces carved out from former convent buildings, interesting cut-outs providing views to both historical and contemporary cloisters, and the panoramic views of Deauville from the third floor exhibition zones – the “floating box”.