The school in Nantes and Laval

At the start of the 2023 academic year, the school welcomed 1,750 students to Nantes, in the heart of the Quartier de la Création, Europe's center of excellence in the cultural and creative industries. From the start of the 2024 academic year, they will be joined by students starting the new immersive design courses offered in Laval.

New: 4 new immersive design courses in Laval at the start of the 2024 academic year

At the start of the 2024 academic year, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique will open a branch in Laval, on the premises of the Laval Virtual Center, where it will offer 4 immersive design courses: 3 DN MADE (Space, Product and Digital) and a Master's degree in design.

As the leading international hub for virtual and augmented reality, this space hosts the renowned annual international virtual and augmented reality trade show, Laval Virtual, which takes place over 3 days in the spring (10,000 visitors in 2023). The space is also home to engineers from Clarté. A digital accelerator for business development, this technology resource center specializing in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and emerging technologies also offers a research and development activity, where researchers and doctors invent the future of virtual and augmented reality.

The Laval Virtual Center is also home to "Arts et Métiers", a training organization specializing in virtual technologies. The creation of Laval Virtual in 1999 brought together various academic and professional players to share common facilities with their partners and the companies that need them, and to make Laval a true center of expertise in immersive technologies. As a place of inspiration for companies and their managers, the Laval Virtual Center encourages and accelerates the digitization of industry and services, and today enjoys international recognition.

laval virtual center

In the heart of Nantes, in the heart of the world

Since September 2022, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique has been located on the Île de Nantes in a new building in the heart of the Quartier de la Création, a European center of excellence in the field of cultural and creative industries. Here, nearly 5,000 students are honing their skills in the fields of communication, design, art and architecture.

For L'École de design Nantes Atlantique, this move to the Île de Nantes represents an opportunity to forge even closer ties with the business world. It reinforces an approach that aims to include design as an innovation practice within companies, with research and training professionals, in order to help organizations transition towards more virtuous and sustainable models.

Finally, this central location will allow the school to pursue its international development and to help promote Nantes as a creative capital.

under the naves in Nantes

Entirely open to the city thanks to its glass facades, the building has five floors with classrooms, offices, workshops, design labs, studios, a learning lab and communal spaces for students and employees. The structure of the building is topped by a terrace that offers a breathtaking view of the island.

Conceived with a design-for-design approach, this modern and ambitious building, for which ADIM Ouest, is the project manager, is the result of the visions of the architectural agencies Marc Mimram and GPAA Architectures, the designer Patrick Jouin and the design agency Jouin Manku. The work was carried out by SOGEA Atlantique BTP, a subsidiary of VINCI Construction.

Agora seen from above
m² of floor space
m² of manufacturing and prototyping areas
computer stations
180-seat conference room

The Patrick Jouin Agora

The whole building is structured around an agora, a central and flexible space, which is a place for living, learning and exhibiting work, as well as a shared space for dialogue and interaction.

"The agora positioned at the heart of the project is at once an educational tool, a showcase, a place that can be opened to the public, a place of production, a place of circulation, of vertical movement, of sharing and meeting. It is a place of spontaneitý, informality and serendipitý" Marc Mimram, architect

"The first thing you have to learn in design is to communicate. This idea of being together had to be at the heart of the school and the idea of the agora came up immediately." Patrick Jouin, designer

Agora seen from above
Vue de l'agora
school new building agora
day info view agora passageway

The mock-up workshop

The mock-up workshop is a huge space for creation and experimentation. It allows students to discover the pleasure of working with materials. Students of all backgrounds come together to learn how to prototype their ideas in complete safety.

This space is divided into several creative areas:

  • Wood / foam / plastic
  • Silkscreen printing/risography
  • Moulding (plaster, concrete, resin, silicone...)
  • Laser cutting and engraving

Students are fortunate to have at their disposal equipment and machines that allow them to mix materials and techniques. They can thus obtain the most realistic mock-ups and prototypes possible. They are supervised by the mock-up workshop team, which provides expertise on the technical feasibility of design projects.

The production hall near the workshops allows students to work on large formats.

Visit the school's workshops with Suânly PINSON
Atelier boisAtelier bois
ecole ambiance atelier ceramique
ecole ambiance atelier metal
Model workshop

"We also find all the facilities, but on a new scale: the work spaces are more extensive and tools such as the green room or 3D printers are even better quality and there are more of them."

Romane Gaultier
Student in the school's Digital Design Lab

The Learning Lab

The new campus of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique features a Learning Lab of over 200 ㎡ dedicated to pedagogical experimentation and innovation.

Project mode is at the heart of this space, which can be configured as required and is equipped with significant technological and digital resources. The objective: to solve problems through discussion, creativity, research, and innovation.

It is in this Learning Lab that the school's educational innovation unit will prototype training courses for teachers. It will also receive students conducting projects that combine active teaching and design. Finally, it will be open to the school's partners - higher education institutions, companies, associations and local authorities - in order to encourage cross-disciplinary approaches.

The Learning Lab is run by the school's educational innovation unit, whose mission is twofold:

  • Supporting educational teams in teaching design
  • Using design methods to develop educational experiments
learning lab

Learning Lab Facilities:

  • A modular educational experimentation space equipped with modular tables and touch screens
  • A space for relaxation and conviviality
  • 2 document consultation rooms
  • A room dedicated to the practice of distance learning
  • 2 work rooms

The digital workshops & studios

All design professions are concerned by digital technology. The dedicated spaces allow students to work on both artistic modes of expression and technical tools, thanks to advanced technologies: filming, motion capture, sound, virtual reality and digital workshop.

In the school's digital workshop, students use the technology available to them to create a functional digital prototype, a fundamental step in the progress of their project. They are supervized by the digital workshop team to help them structure and implement their ideas.

Within this workshop, there is a co-working space where workshops are organized around technologies related to:

  • alternative realities: virtual, augmented, mixed;
  • connected objects, creation of web sites or interactive scenographies;
  • artificial intelligence;
  • digital manufacturing: 3D printing, digital embroidery;
  • audiovisual production (motion, video mapping, vfx, motion capture etc.).
Visit to the school's digital studios and workshops with Bérenger Recoules
Green background
studio prise de vue

Digital workshop facilities:

  • 4 specialized areas
  • Green room - 50 ㎡
  • Photo studio - 25 ㎡
  • Sound studio - 15 ㎡
  • Virtual reality studio - 50 ㎡
  • 1 co-working area - 130 ㎡
  • 2 multi-purpose booths - 11 ㎡ each

"The students were eager to discover the different workshops such as the spaces dedicated to ceramics, metalwork, wood or the digital and photo studios. It's a real pleasure to be able to work in an environment of this calibre."

Raphaël Paris
Student in the school's Food Design Lab

A major real estate project

Convinced of the economic value of design for companies in the region, the Nantes St-Nazaire Chamber of Commerce and Industry has supported, accompanied and managed L'École de design Nantes Atlantique since its creation. With the other financial partners of the project, Nantes Métropole, the Pays de Loire Regional Council and Feder, the CCI is giving the school the means to achieve its ambitions, since this new building represents the largest real estate investment in France in the field of design in the last ten years.

day info view agora passageway
studio prise de vue
Agora of the school seen from above

"This new setting represents an opportunity to forge even closer ties with the business world. It is with pride that we will be able to welcome delegations from all over the world and help promote Nantes as a creative capital."

Anne Brochard
Anne Brochard
President of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique

The new school building was made possible by the involvement of a local authority convinced of the economic value of design for businesses:

  • The Nantes St-Nazaire CCI, which contributed €9.69 million.
  • Nantes Métropole (4.75 M€), the Pays de la Loire Region (4.75 M€), and Feder funds (1.7 M€) were mobilized to finance the project.
  • The investment related to the relocation of the School amounts to 26.4 M€. A loan was taken out to complete the financing.

"This new location symbolizes the strategic dimension and economic value of design for the region's businesses. With its international outlook, the school is more than ever a central element in the reputation and attractiveness of our region."

Yann Trichard
President of the Nantes St-Nazaire CCI

A look back at the inauguration day

On Thursday, October 13, 2022, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique organized a first inauguration in the presence of the partners of this major investment for the region.

This 11,600 m² building marks a new stage in the development of the school and its mission: to train designers committed to the world of tomorrow and to support the transition of organizations towards more virtuous and sustainable models through design and innovation.

To relive this inauguration day and its highlights, watch the replay !

Project partners

cci nantes st nazaire
region pays de la loire
nantes metropole
marc mimram
jouin manku
Updated on 24.01.24