Projects / Culture

Projects / Culture

The Auguste-Tolbecque Conservatory


Refurbishment of the music and dance conservatory

Project owner
Communauté d'Agglomération du Niortais
Project manager
Deshoulières Jeanneau Architectes
Project management team
ATES (structure), YAC Ingénierie (plumbing/electrical), Cabinet Maret (economist), Point d'Orgue (sound engineering)
Image credits
Patrick Miara
Niort (79), France
Refurbishment of the music and dance conservatory
Surface area
2.350 m2
Cost of the works
2,8 M€ pre-tax

Dating back to the eighteenth century, the Du Guesclin Barracks were transformed into a cultural and educational centre in 1995, following the French Army’s departure. The long rows of cut-stone buildings comprising this site form the perfect example of military architecture. Their architectural and aesthetic qualities were readily apparent, but their transformation into a cultural facility, less so. The conservatory thus required a restructuring to bring the building up to safety and accessibility codes, to render it more functional on an everyday basis, and to improve its thermal and acoustic performance. The ground floor has a series of rooms with vaulted ceilings used as spaces for rehearsal (for dance and music ensembles) and for performance (a hall and an auditorium). The classrooms, multimedia library, and administration are spread out across the first floor and in the attic spaces.


Equipped with a sound recording system and control room, a 97-seat auditorium has been inserted into the building. 

In the reception lobby, the vaulted ceiling was opened up to allow for the installation of an elevator leading to the mezzanine and first floors.


Equipped with changing rooms, the two dance studios can be accessed through separate entryways from the rest of the conservatory. One of these entryways also leads to the rehearsal room for music, choral, and orchestral groups.

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