After deep historical research, Acau Architectes has succeeded to rehabilitate and extend the Belfry- a historical monument of the area of Dives, built-in 1892, to transform it into a contemporary cultural center.
The process included the restoration of plasters and bricks, the recovery of all whitewash, and the restoration of clocks as many elements participated in respectfully requalifying the building.
In addition, the part with a simple historic ground floor standing against the Belfry building has been deconstructed and then rebuilt while preserving all the details of the friezes and railings of yesteryear.
Only a large opening, with an assertive modernity, addresses the new south square and marks the entrance of the public.
The surface beneath the new slab cast in a row timber plank is visible from all parts of the ground floor.
The contemporary brick extension with sharp joints on three sides offers an assertive volumetry hugging the entire footprint of the available plot.
A hollow on the north façade indicates the entrance of the artists while a brick lattice subtly reveals the activity of the place, especially on night shows.
Like a monolith, the building is carved according to the program while showing the entire facades of the restored Belfry in the background.
The softness and uniformity of the bricks are a means to highlight the belfry building, regarding its manyfold moldings and affirmed materiality.
The extension takes advantage of the slope with a slight encasement to offer a maximum height within the auditorium (130 seats) while offering perspectives on the existing building from the street.
Project: Rehabilitation and Extension of the Belfry of Dives-sur-mer Cultural Center
Architects: ACAU Architects
Lead Architects: Vincent Dubillot and Flavien Blondel
Photographers: Charly Broyez and Antoine Cardi