The new Nantes Atlantique School of Design is a major institution, opened to the city, and built around public space

The Île de Nantes district is being transformed through an innovative consultation process, leaded by the SAMOA (Société d'Aménagement de la Métropole Ouest Atlantique). The site of this project is located at the intersection of two major structuring axes of the new Île de Nantes district, and at the crossroad of housing and office buildings, the former Nefs Dubigeon shipyards, known for their iconic moving sculptures, the ‘Machines’, and the striking, singular Folies urban art installations. The future EDNA – École de Design Nantes Atlantique building is at the core of a mixed-purpose complex, comprising offices and student housing. In our project, those different activities are organized around three urban spaces, making the EDNA an open and welcoming destination: - the Traverse: a passageway built along the north/south axis extending from the Nefs to Prairie au Duc park; - the Parvis: the dramatic main entrance to the EDNA; - the Place du Design, a gathering place, which is also a site for public expression for the school and the entire neighbourhood. The architecture of the EDNA building complex expresses the concepts of truth, diversity and unity. - Truth: the façade asserts the presence of the school on site and shows the multiple uses of the building ; - Diversity: the volume is sculpted with recessed areas and openings to create a contrasted landscape - Unity: the entire structure of the building is made of a very limited set of materials—metal and glass. The two alternating substances that are used create a changing impression over the course of a day and across the seasons. The building layout has been designed to reflect the school's educational mission, fostering exploration and creativity, adaptability, teamwork, autonomy and experimentation. Guided by their teachers, the students experience is based on a pedagogy that links learning with the professional environment. This constant passage between the two worlds informed our decision to build the school around three units: - To the west, the first unit comprises the Agora Forum, the event space and the Learning Centre for individual and group learning; - At the center, the second unit is dedicated to "experimental spaces": production workshops, the production hall, art studios, sculpture workshops and the Design Labs; - To the east, the third unit is home to the offices and student residences: offices are where former students develop their own businesses, while actual students live on the upper floors. The new EDNA is an intrinsically efficient architecture, nourished by its context and capable of nourishing it in return. The building is integrated into the fabric of the city, a welcoming place whose form and clear functionality make it naturally comfortable, accessible and adaptable.


Nantes Atlantique Design School (classrooms, Agora, Administration). Fab Lab and Co-Working spaces; Student Housing. Underground Parking


Île de Nantes, Nantes (France)


SAS Design Campus
Nantes Métropole Aménagement


Architecture: SCAPE Architecture – Ludovica Di Falco (lead architect)
Team: Mathilde Mouchel (Project manager), Michele Tomasini, Francesca Ungaro, Carlota Zapata
Associate architect: MABIRE-REICH
Developer: Groupe DUVAL/ETPO RED
General Contractor: ETPO Construction
Structural engineering and MEP: OTE Ingénierie
Environmental engineering consultant: Franck Boutté


Competition (preliminary design)


E+C – Energie-Carbone baseline WELL label




GSF TOTAL: 15 927 sq m


42 ,421,980 €