Refurbishment of a former prison

Riom, France


Groupe François 1er et DBI

Project team

Architectural conservator: NDA Nathalie D'artigues
Landscape designer: NEVEUX ROUYER
General engineering: AIA INGENIERIE

Surface area

University and student residence: 3 250 sqm
Hotel: 800 sqm
Intergenerational residence and nursery: 2 000 sqm
Restaurant: 230 sqm
Social housing: 750 sqm
Market hall: 700 sqm
MH housing: 3 400 sqm
Tourist office and multi-purpose room: sqm




Refurbishment of two former prisons wastelands into housing, a university, a hotel, a nursery and a home for the elderly.

Wilmotte & Associés Architectes recently won the competition to redevelop two former prison wastelands in Riom (France). The programme includes the creation of housing, a university, a hotel, a crèche and a home for the elderly.

Integrating the rehabilitation of former prison sites into Riom’s urban fabric is a major ambition for redefining the north-eastern sector of the historic centre. This project, anchored in the context of Riom Limagne et Volcans, is intended to be a catalyst for change, embracing contemporary mobility, energy efficiency and innovation in housing, while at the same time enhancing the rich historical and architectural heritage. The sites targeted for renovation, which are emblematic and steeped in history, are at the heart of a plan to develop a mixed-use district, combining residential and business areas. The aim is to reconnect with the city’s prison and memorial history, giving the project both a cultural and social dimension. This new area is intended to be a dynamic place to live, encouraging interaction and mutual enrichment between residents, while forging a strong intergenerational bond.

The project is not limited to simple urban renewal; it envisages a profound transformation while respecting the local identity. By becoming the catalyst for an innovative and circular economy, it transcends its memorial value to weave a link between past and future. In this way, this ambitious project is emerging as an opportunity to strengthen community cohesion and promote sustainable economic development, marking a decisive step towards Riom's future.