Villa Arson

Built on Saint-Barthélémy hill in Nice, with magnificent views over the city and the Bay of Angels, the Villa Arson, designed in the 60s is a utopian art school built on an ideal-model of a defensive provençal village in a brutalist style.

Encouraged by André Malraux, in 1965 the City of Nice donated the large hilltop site to the French state to build a new type of art institution, an art school, exhibition space, studios for international exchanges of artists and students, and a theatre. The project was entrusted to architect Michel Marot.

The result is astonishing, a  low hill hugging building that extends over 17,000 square meters and flows with the  topography. It's rough cast concrete, clad with huge pebble panels and Marot was determined to intorporate the existing ancient olive trees, parosol pines and .... The art school-village unfolds along a central 'street' that connects studios, lecture rooms, patios, outdoor amphitheaters, a maze, secret spaces, suspended terraces and lush gardens.

The Villa Arson is a unique international institution, the building has been listed « Patrimoine du XXe siècle » Heritage of the 20th century.




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