Every designer would probably love a €50 million budget to design a sublime multimedia visitor center for one of the world's most precious historic sites - Lascaux in southern France. Casson Mann and Snøhetta from Norway scooped first place in the Lascaux IV: International Cave Painting Center competition, and their eco-sensitive design promises visitors a mesmerizing, otherworldly experience of this enormous complex of cave paintings that dates back to Paleolithic times.
Tucked into the side of a hill to retain harmony with the existing topography, the Lascaux IV Cave Painting Center will provide visitors with a rich multi sensory experience that is designed to replicate not the sensation of being one of the original artists, but rather the awe that must have filled the three boys who discovered the subterranean complex in the 1940s. At the same time, it is a conservation project, and the interior design will ensure that no harm comes to the rich cultural heritage within.
The façade ranges from transparent to translucent to opaque, creating an intense connection between the interior and exterior, which spans a series of public spaces, a reception area, exhibition areas that sink deep into the hillside to darkness, and an information area that is punctuated by ethereal shafts of daylighting that pour through cracks in the roof. Visitors will be presented with a torch and explorer’s cape that will encourage them to leave behind their busy lives and become immersed into a dynamic, multimedia journey through time.
Via Arch Daily