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.