Metropole Rouen Normandie, left bank quaysMetropole Rouen Normandie, left bank quays
©Metropole Rouen Normandie, left bank quays|Benoit Eliot

Contemporary art

If Rouen is a city of art and history, it continues to inspire today’s artists. Bold buildings, construction of neighborhoods and creative bubbling are its signatures.

Art in the service of architecture

Great figures of contemporary architecture have signed important buildings in Rouen.
The 108, headquarters of the Metropole on the left bank quays, is the mark of Jacques Ferrier. With its transparent facades that play with the light variations of the Norman sky and the reflections of the Seine, it won the 2017 American Architecture Prize. Dominique Perrault designs the Kindarena sports hall and its hypnotic mirror effects. Rudy Ricciotti takes onthe Simone de Beauvoir library, imagining dancing concrete mikado facades, and Bernard Tshumi puts all his genius intothe Zenith with its so remarkable elliptical shape, bristling with three masts.

Reclaiming port areas

Rouen is strongly reconnecting with the life of its river, west of the city. A vast urban project transforms the former industrial and port wastelands into places for walking and recreation.The Luciline eco-district was born in 2009 with the construction of housing, offices and the Docks 76 shopping center, which was established in a former warehouse on the right bank. Le 106, a former port shed, becomes a magnificent current music venue recognizable by its two big yellow cranes that point skyward, on the left bank docks. The Flaubert district begins its transformation in 2021, near the famous Gustave Flaubert Bridge, Europe’s tallest lift bridge, which marks the limit of the river accessible to maritime vessels. It was put into service in 2008 after four years of work.

Contemporary architecture is also the Rouen Law School, the undulating building La Filature de la Matmut and exciting rehabilitation projects. Look at the Atrium, this former Ecole Normale Supérieure has been transformed into a magnificent scientific exhibition space, with its central interior courtyard and glass roof, covered with an innovative, high-performance climate membrane. For its part, the Cloister of the Penitents marries the sub-basement of an old convent from 1612 and an upper part restored in a modern way by architect Massimiliano Fuksas in 1989.

Clearing galleries

The Metropolis is full ofexhibition venues that bring contemporary art to life. So go to the Fonds régional d’art contemporain (Frac) Normandie Rouen, at the castle of Centre d’art contemporain Matmut, which has become an institution, at SHED in Maromme with its industrial atmosphere,at Hangar 109, at Epoxy and all the way to the eleven museums of the Metropole which offer today’s artists to put their works in dialogue with the permanent collections during the event La Ronde. Take advantage, it’s free!