The exhibition takes the visitor on a historical journey through the different lives of the building: A biscuit factory in the 19th century, left abandoned in the 1980s, to then be brought back to life by artists themselves as an alternative place of creation. Finally in 2000, the building was turned into le lieu unique, a new type of living cultural space.
La Tour is le lieu unique’s new permanent exhibition on the five levels of the iconic LU tower in Nantes. Unapologetically embracing imperfections and its history, the exhibition is a celebration of all the lives the building has had and its impact on the city of Nantes.
La Tour celebrates the beauty in its past life. When the odd perfection of the outside architecture really stands out in Nantes, the inside itself unapologetically reveals the different alterations of the time.
The rawness of the space is beautiful, showing a mix of construction materials and previous artists works or installations.
We wanted our graphics to be seen as an extra intervention.
Embedded onto the building, rather than being a removable layer, we have used a mixture of stencils, conformable vinyls and large painted areas, putting focus on the existing surfaces and celebrating the beauty and richness of its imperfections.
We approached each level in a different way, trying to pace down the visitor in immersive spaces, so what used to be a frantic ascension to the top of the tower, turns into an unexpected journey into the building’s archives.
At times, you can dive into walls of archival images — e.g. testimonies of the lieu unique’s night life — to be later on surprised by gigantic jellyfish (one of Praline’s previous take on a season campaign) surrounding the lift doors.
Falling down the lift shaft, an imposing banner guides the visitor up, while revealing the 6970 names of the artists and guests who have performed at le lieu unique during the past two decades.