Stop “Place Choiseul”: the Tollhouses and Buren’s “Attrapes-Soleil” (Suncatchers)
Built in the late 18th century on the banks of the Loire and now dedicated to contemporary art, the four tollhouses host emerging artists in residence and regularly open their doors to the public. They offer an opportunity to meet new talent and discover their innovative work at the crossroads of arts, crafts, techniques and science.
For more information, visit: mode-demploi.org
Stop “Porte de Loire”: the CCC OD, a temple of contemporary art
Contemporary art in all its diversity is on display at the Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, the region’s main art museum opened in 2017. The museum also celebrates the work of Olivier Debré, a major 20th-century painter inspired by the landscapes of the Loire. It is a lively space of encounters and culture shocks.
The Quartier des Arts, alleys of art and history
Between Rue du Grand Marché and Place de la Victoire on the edge of Vieux-Tours, a clutch of quiet streets — rue du Petit Saint-Martin, rue Étienne Marcel and rue Eugène Sue — make up the Quartier des Arts. This small neighbourhood has been home to workshops, craft shops and galleries for around forty years.
Stop “Nationale”: the contemporary theatre enters the scene
The Centre Dramatique National de Tours is characterised by an eclectic programme ranging from readapted classical theatre to contemporary creation. It is “inhabited” by its artists and stages a dozen shows per year as well as the “Wet” festival, THE place to be for young French and international creators.
Stop “Gare”: open your eyes wide!
During this stop, you can admire Tours station, the work of local Victor Laloux, the architect behind the Basilique Saint-Martin and Tours town hall, as well as the Gare d’Orsay in Paris. It faces the super contemporary Palais des Congrès, nicknamed the “casquette” (baseball cap), and the Tourist Office, both the work of Jean Nouvel.
Stop “Joué Hôtel de Ville”: let’s dance at Temps Machine!
Dedicated to contemporary music and designed by Parisian architect Moussafir, Temps Machine asserts its party vibe via singular architecture characterised by its imposing size and padded envelope. Its two concert halls host concerts, exhibitions and conferences. Its rich avant-garde programme makes it a must-visit for locals.
"Vivant, vivants" is the theme of the national festival France Design Week, taking place from September 14 to 28.
In Tours, the event features a design trail throughout the city and exhibitions/challenges highlighting the possible alliance between design and the environment.
Take advantage of a 3-day / 2-night stay in Tours to discover the design side of the Loire Valley!
Café du Printemps
In Tours, the Le Printemps department store in a building listed as “Remarkable Contemporary Architecture” offers a food counter for lunch or snacks. Offering free reign to renowned pastry chefs such as Nicolas Léger, the neatly decorated cafe fits perfectly with its surroundings!
Open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm and Thursdays to Saturdays from 10.30 am to 6 pm.
24 rue de Bordeaux, Tours.
Sésame in MAME
The Sésame coffee shop and restaurant opens its doors to its establishment in MAME, the Cité de l'innovation & de la Création. This former printing works, designed by architect Bernard Zehrfuss and designer Jean Prouvé, was awarded an industrial architecture prize in Milan in 1954. Sésame offers natural and organic wines, a market platter and a fresh juice bar using a sustainable approach.
Open from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm.
49 boulevard Preuilly, Tours.