Music School Louviers Extension by Opus 5

A semi-transparent and reflective façade allows the building to exploit its surrounding heritage.

LOUVIERS – A convent in northern France has been given a new look by architects Opus 5, who have expanded the existing music school by adding a glass box to its south side.

Successive constructions have turned the structure from a monastery to a prison, tribunal court and church; eventually the building was converted into a music school in 1990. In its most recent renovation, the architects sought to reflect the building’s heritage while inserting a functional new orchestral space.

Exposed to the water and city, a large glass box sits atop the existing structure. The entire new building is connected to the existing through the façades' reflective qualities; they are made of laminated glazed panels which are coated in a mirror finish. Meanwhile, concrete panels are cut to follow the surface of the dated masonry. ‘Non-crossing’ fixtures hold the glazed panels together from the inside, creating a continuous exterior surface.

Internally, mirrored ceilings create interesting spaces which can be distorted further by adaptable furniture. At night, internal spaces can be fully realized through the transparency of the facade and intelligent lighting structure.

Photos courtesy of Opus 5 architectes

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