BIG just landed a new commission to design the Museum of the Human Body (Cité du Corps Humain) in Montpeillier, France! The museum will consist of a series of organic, intersecting ovals topped with sloping green roofs and rooftop decks. Inspired by biological functions, the museum features a highly optimized facade of louvers to protect the interior from overheating while maximizing daylighting.
The Museum of the Human Body will be located at the edge of Charpak Park in the newly developed Parc Marianne near City Hall. The museum will be dedicated to the artistic, scientific and architectural exploration of the human body, and it will offer cultural activities, interactive exhibitions, performances and workshops. The museum draws on the tradition and expertise of Montpellier’s medical school. Occupying a single ground floor level, the 7,800 m² (ca. 84,000 sqf) museum will feature eight major spaces woven together along a single axis.
The museum will create a fluid transition between the city and the open, green park areas. The building’s intersecting forms rise up opposite each other with alternating green roofs and decks. “Like the mixture of two incompatible substances – oil and vinegar – the urban pavement and the park’s turf flow together in a mutual embrace forming terraced pockets overlooking the park and elevating islands of nature above the city,” explains Bjarke Ingels. “A series of seemingly singular pavilions that weave together to form a unified institution – like individual fingers united together in a mutual grip.”
The green roofs provide extra insulation, more green space, and habitat for local fauna. Daylighting is utilized throughout the project, however it is carefully balanced to protect the interior from overheating. The cylindrical forms feature a highly optimized louvered facade system that bounces light inside. Louvers are gradually angled based upon the orientation of the facade to create a fascinating exterior fabricated from glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC).
BIG is working in conjunction with A+Architecture, Egis, Base, L’Echo, Celsius Environnement and CCVH on the design of the museum. They expect to break ground in 2016 and to open the museum to the public in 2018.