Carré d'Art

Foster + Partners, Nîmes, 1993


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Roman temple and Carré d'Art 

James Morris (website)     Download Original

  • Roman temple and Carré d    
  • Exterior front facade showing colonnade of slender columns    
  • Exterior detail    
  • Rooftop terrace    
  • Rooftop terrace    
  • Glass stairwell    
  • Exhibition space    
  • Exhibition space    
  • Interior seating    
  • Study area    
  • Study area    
  • Study area    
  • Interior seating space    
  • Aerial view looking south showing building in context    
  • Basement (-3)    
  • Basement (-2)    
  • Basement (-2 mezzanine)    
  • Basement (-1)    
  • Lower ground floor    
  • Ground floor    
  • Second floor    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Cross section    
  • Cross section in context    
  • Development drawing    

Museum containing a city library, contemporary art gallery, auditorium and office space

The Carré d'Art is located opposite a perfectly preserved first century BC Roman temple, the Maison Carrée.

The aesthetic of the facade is modern, but also mirrors elements from the Maison Carrée. The colonnade of slender columns acknowledges and makes reference to the existing temple portico.

Half of the nine-storey building is sunk underground to respect the scale of the contextual streetscape. The lower levels house archive space and the cinema, while the upper levels provide day-lit exhibition areas.

The plan is arranged around a grid system which facilitates the steel-frame, glass and concrete structure. A glazed roof over the central courtyard and stairwell allows natural light to flood the space and permeate to the floors below. The staircase links the top-lit galleries to the shaded roof-terrace café, overlooking a public piazza.


  • Completed: May 1993
  • Floor area: 18,000m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Address: Place de la Maison Carrée, Languedoc-Roussillon, Nîmes, 30031, France

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