After the bombings of 1945, the urban fabric is completely redesigned, ventilated, highlighted by great prospects. Do not leave Royan, a living museum of architecture and urbanism of the fifties, without crossing the porticos of the waterfront and visit the "figurehead of the city" designed by Guillaume Gillet: Notre-Dame church, The thin sail of concrete that covers the nave is an indisputable technical and aesthetic feat.
Sobriety and asceticism permeate the Protestant center, its square and its temple. With its parachute tunes, the covered market - a hull made up of a concrete sheer resting on thirteen points - closes the perspective of the estuary.
Another place of successful technical experimentation, the Palais des congrès offers a subtle play of light between convex surfaces and vertical or horizontal planes.
To discover and visit Royan, consult the program of guided tours of the Tourist Office.
Mathieu and Claire share with us their discovery of Royan and its architecture typical of the fifties
Today we visited the various quarters of Royan to explore its unusual architectural heritage.
One of the staff at the Tourist Office gave us a guide which shows five different routes to discover. We started our outing with the Foncillon quarter.
We saw a number of different villas full of character. Each of them has some detail or another making it stand out from the others.
Two caught our attention in particular. "Japhica", which stands on stilts, has distinctive touches of blue decorating the patio. It's a kind of platform rather like the deck of a boat.
Another, nicknamed the "Toaster", intrigued us with the curve of its stairs, the design of which seems to be inspired by kitchen equipment. Quite out of the ordinary!
We also discovered the superb church, Notre Dame of Royan. Symbol of the Reconstruction, sublime and impressive!
Then we carried on towards the Centre. We walked past the Central Market and along Boulevard Briand to reach the Seafront. Two large buildings rise up facing the beach. The balcony walls are all painted red, creating a continuity along both buildings. They are called units 17 and 18, and mirror the lines of the Grande Conche beach.
We finished our walk at the Congress Centre or "Palais des Congrès", which is a listed building. It overlooks the port and Foncillon beach. The sun bounces off the innumerable windows which cover the rectangular facade of the building.
And now its already 4 pm. Time has just flown past! We're going to enjoy the beach for a while. I think we'll try a guided visit later in the week in order to get more detailed explanations about the town's architecture.