Transformation of Neuchâtel Arts Centre (CAN)
For more than twenty years the CAN has been located between the walls of several medieval houses of Neuchâtel’s Old Town.
This internationally recognized institution of contemporary art is set in the unique premises of an old boiler factory at the bottom of the castle hill.
Curator Arthur de Pury and the city of Neuchâtel approached frundgallina to request a study exploring the potentials and expansions that could help anchor the arts centre to its city.
The project is made to be carried out in stages over several years, the first of which has been completed in 2017.
This first step has consisted of improving the operation of the site by subtle local interventions inserted respectfully into the building in order to preserve the existing atmosphere.
A freight elevator has been added at the heart of the project to bring the three floors of the establishment together. New cement brick walls have redefined certain spaces of the institution. Specific partition walls have been removed. The structure of certain floors has been consolidated. Utility rooms have been created. The production of heat has been redesigned to free an old vaulted cellar of the sixteenth century from an oil tank that had a strong impact on the spatial quality of the room. Thus emptied, the cellar has been converted into a concert hall where events related to the exhibitions can take place. On the first floor, a new exhibition room has been created and linked to the visitor flow. Administrative facilities have also been completely redesigned.
All these hidden interventions, ranging from reinforcing the floor structure to the definition of signage, have allowed to significantly improve the quality of the arts centre.