Built in 1945, AP2, the former “prefabrication workshop no. 2” of the Dunkirk shipyards, is a true site of memory, a geographical landmark with great impact on the social and community history of the city and the region, and this impact continues today.
Nicknamed ‘the cathedral’, the building’s 75-metre silhouette commands the Dunkirk shoreline. For nearly 40 years, steamers, mail ships, sailboats, oil tankers and warships issued from its workshops, until its definitive closure in 1988 by France’s Chantiers Navals shipyards. Punctuating the seasons, the launch of brand new ships was a part of the collective experience of Dunkirk residents for decades. Today the AP2 is one of the rare industrial shipyard buildings left standing.