After World War Two, more than 85% of Saint-Nazaire was destroyed… Since then, the city has been a big construction site. In one 14-year period, 12,000 houses and apartments, a hundred public buildings and 120 kilometres of new or reworked roads appeared. Saint-Nazaire made its own comeback.
As of 1948, the city undertook the construction of small buildings imbued with regional, traditional or modernist features. The facades were clad in limestone, brick, pink or pale-yellow sandstone and adorned with clear glass blocks. The inhabitants of Saint-Nazaire discovered the comfort of bright and functional housing.
In 1999, the French ministry of Culture created the label ’20th Century Heritage’ in order to identify that century’s most remarkable examples of architecture and town-planning. Several buildings in Saint-Nazaire received this label, among them the town hall, the sports hall nicknamed the ‘Flying Saucer’ but also the submarine pens and the huge Normandie dock in the harbour. They were singled out because of their value as witnesses to economical, technical, social and cultural change in our society.