St-Étienne : Cité du design

Cultural project
Historical gardens
Tropical greenhouse

Saint-Étienne Métropole

+ LIN architecte + BETOM BET
+ Cyprium économiste

Budget / 13,5 M€
Surface area / 3 Ha
Completion / 2009

From the Place de la Manufacture d’armes (the old entrance to the GIAT industries site) we see the whole site. From this square we can take in La Platine, a 200m long building designed by Berlin architects LIN.

A greenhouse of ferns (400m2)  is found at the center of the building, between the library, the bookshop, a cafe and the conference centre. The public spaces are arranged around the industrial buildings and two historical gardens have been restored. The new Place de la Manufacture integrates access to the site via soft mobility; bicycles, pedestrians and access to the tram. The new Ecole des Beaux-Arts offers different interior and exterior exhibition spaces; its research equipment and observation tower are all linked with well organised public spaces.

The site holds a lot of cultural and economic value for the town of Saint Etienne. Therefore Base aimed to anchor this project in its patrimonial value, its history of military logics and its geography (la plaine Achille.) The square provides a large mineral space adorned with alignments of trees which echo the historical gardens that frame the plaza.

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