Founded in the 12th century, the Notre Dame de l’Ouÿe Abbey is a rich historical site, characteristic of monastic architecture. Its composition has remained intact despite several conversion projects.

Project Name: Notre Dame De L’ouye Abbey
Studio Name: Enia Architectes
Photography Credit: 11H45
CATEGORY: Religious building

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The abbey closes the cloister square composed of the guest accommodation, the dining hall and the chapter house, surmounted by the dormitory. The “productive” space of the Ouÿe site is located outside the barns.

The program of the Diocese of Paris was simple – to transform this monastic site into a place for teenagers. A radically different use since the symbol of enclosure and retreat was to be converted into a signal of openness and welcome.

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The proposal consisted in reconstituting part of the damaged and lost elements of the abbey while modifying its use.

The cloister has been restored with an abstract gesture – a horizontal blade – detached from the ground and walls. It recreates a focus on the site and accommodates the church, the dining hall and lounges.

The church has been enlarged to almost its original area. Additional light now penetrates this originally austere church.

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The historic buildings have been rehabilitated; the main barn converted into a 400-seat multi-purpose hall, the stables become an extensive courtyard.

A new building is located on the site, in harmony with both the abbey history and its conversion. The long accommodation building located behind the stables indicates the entrance to the site. The building heights are rigorously calculated so that it is visible only from the entrance (reception). Its materials and colors strictly reproduce that of the historic buildings.

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Abandoned for several years, this new site has become an example of rural revitalization in the extension of a multi-secular architectural composition.


Enia Architectes

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