- 5th July 2023

Winner – Refurbishment of the Mistral College



Wilmotte & Associés Architectes, in association with architectural conservator Nathalie d'Artigues, wins the competition to rehabilitate the Mistral college in Arles. The project is an urban piece, representing an entire large-scale island located to the north of the city center, on the northern edge of the arena and the historic center. The proposal consists of a public program (events and associations) and will contribute to the urban renewal of a fringe area of the city, giving it a new lease of life. A medical center and a multi-generational residence will bring new vitality to the neighborhood.

The block forming the former Frédéric Mistral college is made up of remarkable heritage buildings and more recent buildings added one after the other. The project preserves and enhances the heritage buildings around the former church: the new buildings do not adjoin the existing ones, leaving a gap that serves as a passageway for visitors, occupants and pedestrians. Just like the alleyways in the town center, to protect from the sun.

The vaults and bays of the galleries are restored and the church’s vaults revealed. The multi-purpose hall recovers the full height of the former church under vaulting by removing the first floor.

The central contemporary section between the courtyards is built around a glass curtain wall set at right-angles to the north courtyard: it closes off the cloister courtyard, restoring its square proportion in plan. On the facade, it reflects the arcades and modenature of the older buildings facing it onto the contemporary building behind.
The new buildings closing the residential courtyard are aligned with the floor heights of the existing building to the east. These generous heights make it possible to create apartments with mezzanine floors, and offer slender proportions on the facade.

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