What is a FRAC?

In 1982, as part of the decentralisation policy, a cultural convention between the State and Regional Councils implemented a Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (Regional Contemporary Art Fund) in each of France’s regions. This initiative would enable each region to dispose of a collection representative of the tendencies in contemporary art at national and international levels.

The FRAC’s missions consist in: constituting a collection, diffusing the works it contains (exhibitions, loans), supporting creation, and encouraging public awareness.

The FRAC Centre

An Art & Architecture FRAC

In 1991, the FRAC Centre opted for an atypical collection which decided to bring contemporary art together with experimental architecture, from the 1950s to the present day. With its international dimension, its collection includes seminal projects of the architectural avant-gardes of the 1960s and 1970s, known by the umbrella term “radical architecture”.

Today, the FRAC Centre collection includes some 600 works, 800 architectural models and maquettes, and more than 15,000 drawings, as well as many architects’ collections. It is represented through 150 architects and 170 artists. This collection forms a unique heritage of experimental architecture of the last fifty years linked with artistic creation, rivalling the world’s greatest architectural collections (Centre Pompidou-MNAM in Paris; MoMA in New York; CCA in Montreal; DAM, Architectural Museum, in Frankfurt).

The so-called “new generation” FRACs

From their creation, the FRACs have been involved in three complementary missions: collecting contemporary art, putting it on view by taking it to the public, and educating people about it. Nowadays, they are defined by many different programmes supporting creative activity, distribution, and information and awareness among every kind of public, both within the regional territory and beyond.

The Pays-de-la-Loire FRAC took due note of this development in 2000. With the help of the Ministry of Culture and Communication and Local Authorities, six regions have embarked on a new adventure, by choosing to build a facility designed for their programme: in Brittany (already opened), in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (opened in March 2013), in Franche-Comté (opening in April), in the Centre Region (opening in September), in Nord-Pas de Calais (opening in September) in Aquitaine and in Basse-Normandie (completions in 2015).

A place for creation and research

If the FRACs are rather like museums in the way their collections are scientifically managed, they are above all places of dissemination, information and awareness-raising, and support for contemporary art.

The FRAC Centre is at once a resource center, by way of its collection, and a place of artistic and architectural experimentation.

With its new facility, the Turbulences - FRAC Centre has an efficient tool for developing both an exhibition programme and a cross-disciplinary cultural programme focusing on the relations between art, architecture and design.

Its exhibitions promote its unique collection of art and architecture.

The FRAC Centre organizes exhibitions about artists and architects in its collection, as well as theme shows in association with other museums.

The Turbulences - FRAC Centre makes its mark as a production platform for works by young architects, in particular through training programmes with art and architectural schools, as well as international workshops, as part of ArchiLab.

Its cultural programme links its exhibitions with other art disciplines: theatre, music, literature, design, film, etc.

The FRAC Centre draws up its cultural programme in close association with its regional partners (lectures, performances, concerts, film screenings, etc.).

The Turbulences - FRAC Centre sets up a People’s University, offering classes on contemporary art and architecture, open to one and all.

The FRAC Centre comes across like a set or stage within which many artistic practices, based on architecture, will overlap.

A few dates:


Creation of the Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain at the instigation of the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with regional councils.


Creation of the FRAC Centre in Orléans


Orientation of the FRAC Centre’s collection towards art and architecture.

As from 1995

International exhibitions dedicated to the collection (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, in 2004-2005, Barbican Art Gallery, London, in 2006, Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, in 2008).


First edition of ArchiLab, International Architecture Meeting in Orléans, on the Subsistances Militaires site.


On the occasion of the “20th Anniversary of the FRACs”: exhibition of the FRAC Centre collections at the Subsistances Militaires site and in several cultural venues in Orléans.


International contest to rehabilitate the Substances Militaires site and to set up the FRAC Centre on a global surface of 3,000m2. Prizewinning architects: Jakob+MacFarlane.


Setting of the first stone.


Completion of the new building, Orléans.


9th edition of ArchiLab
30th Anniversary of the FRACs.


Director: Abdelkader Damani


First edition of the Biennale d'Architecture.


Bruges Triennal