Opus 5 Architects have crowned a 17th-century convent in Normandy with a glistening new concert hall. The plan called for a contemporary addition that pays respects to the cultural and archaeological heritage of the existing facilities. So instead of adding an entirely new building, the French designers clad the orchestral hall in glistening glass and wrapped it around the southern wing of the riverside complex.
Having undergone several incarnations since it was first built in 1646, the beautiful Convent of the Penitents in northern France was eventually converted into the Louviers music school in 1990. Much of the existing stone still exists, and Opus 5 rehabilitated the surrounding landscape in order to draw better attention to the riverside setting.
The concert hall has an undulating mirrored roof that somehow does not clash with the existing architecture and a new music library was added to the first floor. Original ground floor cloisters have been filled in with glazing to enhance views of the nearby river and also give way to a new foyer that marks the carefully-renovated structure’s new entryway.