David Chipperfield Architects has been selected to design the new Musee des Beaux-Arts in Reims, France. The museum site is located at a meeting point between old and new areas of the city, as well as an archeological site. To bridge the modern and historic, Chipperfield designed a narrow, sawtoothed structure with semi-transparent walls to juxtapose the architectural gems of the old town with the museum’s impressive collection.

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The museum’s exterior mixes marble panels, which echo historic architecture, with modern transparent panels. The meshy translucent façade stretches up two floors, diffusing natural daylight into the exhibition spaces. There is also plenty of natural light on the top floor, as it pours through light-diffusing ceilings and floods the the space with light from the pitched rooftops. Isolated windows are also found throughout, which give visitors a clear view of the cathedral outside, creating an interesting juxtaposition with the artifacts and artworks inside.

Inside, a light-filled atrium welcomes guests and marks the archaeological site where Medieval artifacts have been excavated in the past. The atrium also contains the lobby, which connects the three pitched-roofed portions of the design. Here, visitors can access the exhibition rooms in chronological order, starting in the basement for paintings, sculptures and artifacts from the 15th Century, climbing to the top floor where 21st-century art is found.

Chipperfield is no stranger to museum design, having already completed high-profile museum projects for the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Museum Folkwang in Essen and the Neues Museum in Berlin. His winning design for Reims reflects the vast collection of historic and contemporary objects by giving visitors a glimpse of the architecture outside, while perusing the modern structure.

+ David Chipperfield Architects

Via Frame Mag