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Major structural projects for the Grand Ouest region

Published on Jul 20, 2012 - Marie BELLEVILLE Give a subject

Several large-scale projects are underway in the Nantes conurbation, demonstrating its dynamism and entrepreneurial expertise. An overview of the main sites is given below.


Grand Ouest region airport | Ile de Nantes | Jules Verne Technological Research Institute | International high school | Radisson Blu 4* hotel

Grand Ouest region airport: scheduled to open in 2017

In 2017, the new international airport for the Grand Ouest region will come into operation on the Notre-Dame-des-Landes sites. With its two parallel runways, it will provide access and enhance the area’s international appeal, and also stimulate growth in the region. Passenger numbers of 4.5 million are expected when it opens, rising to 9 million in the long term. Nantes Atlantique airport, whose passenger numbers have been increasing by 5.5% per annum for the last 20 years, is approaching saturation point, hence the requirement to transfer airport activities to a site 25 km from Nantes which addresses major safety and environmental issues.
The Grand Ouest airport is the First HEQ (High Environmental Quality) airport design. The architect, Jacques Ferrier, wanted the design to blend into its natural environment and thus preserve the special features of the existing site. The total cost of the project is 556 million euros.


Ile de Nantes: 340 hectares of redevelopment in the heart of the conurbation

The total scope of the Ile de Nantes project, one of the most significant urban renewal projects in Europe, is one million square metres of building land. The work, which began at the turn of this century and will extend over 20 years, will transform a composite 340-hectare site into the real heart of the conurbation, offering all urban functions: housing, economic activities, shops, transport and services. There will eventually be 15,000 new residents and a similar number of jobs on the Ile de Nantes. A significant number will be focused on the Quartier de la création which is currently being built, with 90,000 m² dedicated to creative industries.
The Ile de Nantes project, which is being managed for Nantes Métropole by Samoa, a local public development company, is now entering Phase 2. Ten years on from the “Chemetoff era”, the urban planning team of Marcel Smets and Anne-Mie Depuydt is now overseeing the project. They are planning the redevelopment of a 90-hectare brownfield site in the south-west of the Ile de Nantes, which will house the combined departments of the University Teaching Hospital.


Jules Verne Technological Research Institute: discovering the materials of the future

Located close to Airbus Nantes and the EMC2 Technocampus, the Jules Verne Technological Research Institute will consist of 70,000 m² of buildings devoted to teaching, research and innovation in the composite and metallic materials and hybrid structures fields. There will be 1,000 researchers, approximately 100 companies and 5,000 jobs based on the competitiveness cluster within 10 years’ time.
The ambitious 450-million euro industrial project for this new technological research institute will make it a global beacon in the field of advanced technologies for the production of the materials of tomorrow. The aim is to create a new competitive advantage for major French industrial markets: aeronautical engineering, shipbuilding, energy and land transport.


Ile de Nantes High School: the international approach

An international high school will open for the new school year in 2014 on the east tip of the Ile de Nantes, in the immediate vicinity of the Euronantes business cluster. Building is scheduled to begin in September 2012. Designed by the Parisian architect François Leclercq, the school will accommodate up to 1,500 students in buildings covering 25,000 m² in total.
The international high school will provide education for local students, a higher-level technology pre- and post-baccalaureate education cluster, and a modern languages cluster offering European and international languages and also French as a second language to meet the needs of families from abroad. The total cost will be 77 million euros.

Radisson Blu 4* hotel in the centre of Nantes

This new beacon hotel is due to open in November 2012. Located in the historic centre of the city, it has been created in the refurbished former city law courts. It is a first for France. The conversion of the 19th century building was designed by the architect Jacques Cholet (DTACC) and carried out by the developer Cogedim, at a cost of 30 million euros. Designed to attract an international business clientele, the hotel offers 142 rooms (including 20 suites) over four floors, a gourmet restaurant seating 85, a lounge bar and a 200 m² fitness centre. It is also the first European hotel to house a contemporary art cultural centre which is open to the public.
The opening of the Radisson Blu will have a knock-on effect throughout the entire city-centre district. Located on the same square is the converted former Lafayette Barracks which will house shops, residential units and a spa and hydro-therapy centre. The square adjoining the hotel is also being refurbished.