Building 3 is the main part of the Villa Arson. Punctuated by seven patios, it has seven levels including three in the basement. The modern building encases and magnifies the old Villa whose three levels tower over the entire site. After the events of 1968, the new ministry of culture required changes in the layout of the place and notably required the creation of a theater below the great room in building 3. It was more or less used for about 10 years, then it was closed because of ground water problems. Building 3 now houses the exhibition spaces of the National Center for Contemporary Art, a huge hallway on two levels, the study and research library, the department for digital creation, student exhibition spaces, studios for artists in residence, four auditoriums, boarding facilities, various technical spaces and reserves. Its terraces, called upper terraces, look over the entire domain and wrap around the old Villa.
View of part of the passageways which are now taken up by the contemporary art study and research library.
The floor again uses Veronico tiles, with a rhythm of marble lines reminiscent of the separation structure on the Provencal stone streets.
On either side of the passage leading to the old Villa, patios have been arranged as gardens and receive the light of day coming from the terraces.
On the left, the roof of the Galerie Carrée where the roofing is being installed on the pyramids , these are inspired by sawtooth industrial roofs.
In the center the roof over the stage is almost complete.
On the right is the patio and behind it the block including the kitchen with the dining room on the south side (not visible on the picture). These spaces are now the educational spaces of the Galerie d'essais dedicated to the students.
Four patios surround the old Villa with a setting of greenery to the north and to the south.
The north – west patio can be seen on this picture.
It is delimited by the great hall on the east side, by the current study and research library on the south side, by two corridors which can be seen on this picture on the north and west sides.
All the floors are tiled with Veronico tiles rhythmically separated by marble lines reminiscent of the stones used for separation on the Provencal stone streets.
Today the western corridor has been closed and divided into two spaces: an extension of the library and a technical studio.
Building 3, the main element of the architectural ensemble, opens onto a huge hall on two levels.
It comes out below the middle terraces of building 4 towards the semi-covered central street leading to the studios of the school of art.
The vertically striped motif of some of the walls gives rhythm to the movement of the eyes and of the body, it accentuates the perspective and plays with light.
Other walls reveal the horizontal formwork motif, asserting convergence lines and the segmentation of space. The floor was later covered with Veronico tiles.
Three colors were used for the lights, from yellow to white, which the chandeliers diffract in steps.
This use of light seems to extend certain organic characteristics of the outside architecture into the very heart of the building (stone veneer, greenery, traces of the wooden formwork in the concrete).
Called “auditorium alley” this passage separates buildings 3 and 4.
The footbridges give access to the roof terraces of building 4.
On the left overhanging planters crown the façade of building 3.
This arrangement creates an aerial atmosphere in this monumental passageway and allows for circulating in the shade.
In charge of the project
Cédric Moris Kelly
Under the guidance of Patrick Aubouin
Cédric Moris Kelly
Data entry in Google Cultural Institute interface
Cédric Moris Kelly
Digitalization of spaces by Google Street View team was made possible thanks to the mobilization of Villa Arson technical teams:
Reception, monitoring and maintenance
Reception, monitoring & accommodation
Technical / Buildings staff
Thanks to Michel Marot for the graceful authorization to use the archives collection Marot Tremblot Architecture (MTA)
With the support of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Google Street View and Google Cultural Institute teams