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Symphony of the old & new

Opus 5’s Music School in Normandy put forward the winning entry to the 2012 WAN Adaptive Re-Use Award. Set in rural Louviers, Normandy the original building was constructed in 1646 as a monastery and has since been reincarnated as a prison and music school. Opus 5 were given the task of recreating the calm and majesty of the original monastery and removing the stigma of the former prison building, as well as adhering to the rigorous schedule and limited plot. In order to achieve this the architects used the existing masonry walls to extend upwards infilling the cloister above the river, replacing what was missing from the original structure and then going further to create a glowing glazed element which sits surrounded by ruins atop the river.

Whilst sitting above the ruins of the original, insightful design has ensured that the glazed box does not overshadow or overpower the main wing of the building. In fact it was the sensitivity and maturity of its placement and relationship to the old that impressed the judges. The detailing of how the extension meets the existing volume to the delicate facade which almost blends with the landscape, while still being an incredibly contemporary intervention won it the award. Such a modern intervention in a rural environment could have easily been unsuccessful, however the judges found the balance just right.

Source: Worldarchitecturenews

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