Formerly owned by the Norman Flexible Hose Company, or SNTF, the buildings that now house the current music and dance centre bear witness to the valley’s nineteenth-century industrial past. After the site’s closing in the 1980s, the Caux Vallée de Seine federation of municipalities decided to preserve this abandoned site as part of the area’s industrial heritage. The smokestack, which belongs to the city of Lillebonne, was also preserved. The architectural design uses these historical traces to define a cultural facility for inhabitants and to help develop a new image for this area. Whereas the factory was a closed space reserved to workers, the conservatory is open to the city, with a pedestrian walkway leading to the renovated buildings and newly built structures. The abstract, contemporary style of the new buildings alludes to industrial architecture, and the entire project was conceived as a dialogue between these various layers of local history that reveals the site’s gentle incline.
An east-west pedestrian walkway crosses the site, connecting the industrial vestiges (the smokestack and the main building) to the three new, oblong buildings.
The rehabilitated structures house a reception area, a teacher’s room, and two creative workshop spaces.
The site sits on a gentle slope, which is revealed by the pedestrian walkway and the varying steepness of the new buildings.
The style and materials of these new structures represent a clear break from the historical context.
The new buildings house two dance studios, three training rooms, two collective studios for contemporary music, a percussion room, a computer-assisted music room, and a dozen rooms for individual music lessons.