In Nantes, the last shipyard closed in 1986 leaving the city in a desperate situation. The cranes, symbolizing the industrial activity, one by one stopped. Unemployment stroked. The question was between turning the page, tearing down the workshops and reinventing a new story or trying to preserve would appear to most of the population, a kind of modern bulky legacy. In the early 2000’s, the revitalization of Nantes’ former industrial area, led to developing a new way thinking. Instead of designing an urban map with major spots and rows of housing, A. Chemetoff thought better to draw an urban landscape where the past could mix with the future. The industrial heritage has been then preserved in two diff erent ways: construction halls have been reshaped preserving the original structure, everything should be reversed. The intangible heritage, meaning worker’s knowledge, has been reinvested in the cultural industry. This way, the image of the city, its brand, moved from industrial to cultural, attracting a new kind of business, mainly high-tech, students, in a new: “art de Vivre” (Art of living).
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