The Malouin Maritime Museum finally finds its home port

The Saint-Malo Maritime History Museum, which has been struggling to see the light of day since 2007, has finally found its location: the former Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM). Work will begin in 2025 with an opening planned for 2028.

Relaunched in 2017, construction of the museum was to begin in 2019, under the direction of the firm of architect Kengo Kuma, but it was abandoned again. In 2021, the project was put back on track with the objective of launching work in 2025 on the site of the former silos on Quai Duguay-Trouin. But last April, the City abandoned the idea of ​​installing its museum on this site due to the risk of marine submersion and “insufficient budgetary sustainability, both in investment and in operation”.

Two locations were still possible: Briantais and the former École Nationale Supérieure Maritime. The choice ultimately fell on ENSM, announced the City of Saint-Malo in a press release. The location was chosen for its “ideal geographical location”in the heart of the city and tourist routes, as well as for “its breathtaking view” both intramural and offshore, thus creating a visual synergy with the maritime environment.

The building itself bears witness to Saint-Malo maritime history; it was created by Colbert in the 17th century to train naval officers, then rebuilt after the Second World War. The building, which houses the chapel of Sainte-Victoire classified as a Historic Monument, benefits from the “Remarkable Architecture” label from the Ministry of Culture.

The City will now organize the launch of technical studies on the building which will benefit from significant improvements in terms of accessibility and upgrading, as well as the architectural competition, scheduled for January 2024. “The ambition for the City of Saint-Malo is to obtain a building permit at the end of 2025, leading to a planned delivery date expected in 2028.”

The first stage will consist of the construction of the reserves, which will allow the collections to be preserved and prepared for their future exhibition. A new collections conservation center was launched in 2021, with delivery planned for the last quarter of 2024. The laying of the first stone of the reserves is planned for December 19, 2023.

At the same time, the scientific and cultural project (PSC) covering the next five years (2023-2028) will also be updated. The museum wishes to position itself as “a bridge between the past and the present”, by retracing the major periods of the maritime history of Saint-Malo – a territory which has always been an open door to the world, in resonance with developments in international trade. It is also intended to be a place for reflection on our relationship to the sea and the contemporary issues associated with it. It will thus deal with subjects linked to current events in the maritime world, such as port developments, contemporary flows, boating and even ocean racing.

The museum has a collection of 13,000 objects evoking the maritime history of Saint-Malo, from Jacques Cartier in the 16th century to Jean-Baptiste Charcot in the 20th century. The collection illustrates the routes taken by explorers, merchants, fishermen and privateers, from Newfoundland to Cape Horn, from the North Pole to the South Pole, via the Indian Ocean.

Similar Posts