The port town of Calais is situated in the north of France, only separated from England by the English Channel. Since 1994 it has been connected to the country via the Channel Tunnel. As Europe’s second-largest passenger port – after Dover in England – the town with a population of around 72,000 is therefore dependent on transit and tourism. The importance of fishing and shipping has declined significantly over the past few decades, so that today only the production of bobbin lace for the manufacturers of haute couture evokes the town’s former economic importance. As the port town suffers from high unemployment and hosts a large number of abandoned industrial sites, the regional and national authorities are seeking to revive it with an infrastructural program to the tune of €100 million. As a part of this program, a new art school building (Ecole d’Art de Calais) was constructed on Boulevard Jacquard in the center of Calais. In line with the design of the French architectural firm Arc.Ame and to mark the beginning of a new era in Calais, it was given a curved façade in three pieces made of golden Escale metal mesh from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG.
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