La Formation

Renovated in 2018 by Annabelle Selldorf, this former SNCF staff training center is now dedicated to artists’ residencies and live performance. 

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Some information and key figures:
  • Total area: 1530sq
  • Opening: May 2018
  • Use: artists’ residencies, dance hall, performance space.

History and initial purpose

Built in the 19th century, this building was the staff training center.

In the 19th century – as its name suggests – this building served as a training center and staff service for the Parc des Ateliers. It also housed the design offices where engineers, draughtsmen, and workshop managers worked. 

Building renovation

La Formation, the third building renovated by Selldorf Architects for LUMA Arles, opened in May 2018.

While the building’s limestone and natural stucco façade was restored to its original state, the interior of La Formation was transformed by Selldorf Architects to meet the needs of the LUMA Arles program.

The addition of two floors to the original two-story structure considerably increased the surface area.

Accordion-style glass doors on the south façade now connect the living room to the surrounding landscape.

A central steel staircase provides access to the artists’ shared living spaces, which are furnished with innovative materials created by Atelier LUMA.

The pre-existing terrazzo staircase has been preserved and now provides direct entrance to the third floor, in order to guarantee public access to the dance program while respecting the privacy of the living spaces.

On the third floor, the original solid spruce trusses have been rebuilt and completed with a new floor.

Hervé Hôte


Artist residency and live performance

Inspired by its original use, La Formation was redesigned as an artists' residences. The individual working and living spaces for the artists consist of bedrooms and a living area. A large shared living room and a kitchen were created on the ground floor of the building. On the third floor, there is now a multi-purpose room designed, among other things, for rehearsals of live performances. It hosted Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project company, from 2016 to 2019, as well as choreographer Nacera Belaza and dancer Cécilia Bengolea in 2020.

Adrian Deweerdt


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