Transformation of former Franciscan order buildings into a cultural center
Deauville, FRANCE | 2014

Copyright Silvio d'Ascia Architecture

Status: Competition

Client: Ville de Deauville
Team: Silvio d'Ascia Architecture

Dates: 2014
Surface: 4 400 m²
Cost: 15,5 M€


The agency's proposal for the conversion of the former Franciscan convent in Deauville, France seeks to reinterpret the usage and meaning of the cloister. In enhancing the historical attributes of the site with new, imaginative programs, this new cultural center becomes an urban hub for the city and its residents and visitors.

The project preserves the sacred nature of the existing, historical cloister, restoring it to its original character with sculpted greenery, fountains, and light installations. This calmer, more enclosed courtyard serves as a counterpoint to the adjacent, contemporary cloister, suspended over the complex and housing temporary exhibition areas. Beneath this volume, one finds a multipurpose area for receptions, events, and cultural happenings.

Exhibition and public elements are found on the ground and +2 levels, with the intermediary level serving as support, archival, and office spaces for management and personnel. In addition to exhibition and event zones, the complex includes a media library, an auditorium, music and film studios, children’s workshops, community gardens, a café, gift shop, and info desk.

The building proudly displays the unique juxtaposition of its historical elements and modern additions. Visitors are greeted with surprising atrium spaces carved out from former convent buildings, interesting cut-outs providing views to both historical and contemporary cloisters, and the panoramic views of deauville from the third floor exhibition zones – the floating box.