The architects of SANAA, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, in association with the New York agency Imrey-Culbert (now about to dissolve), have finished on the flat terrain of a mining region, in a rather somber environment, a work that is evanescent yet clear and cold like metal: the outpost for the Louvre in Lens.
It was towards the end of the 1990s that the Centre Pompidou’s president, Jean-Jacques Aillagon (who in 2002 would become Culture Minister) conceived the policy of decentralizing French national museums, partly inspired by the strategy adopted by Thomas Krens ten years before, when he began to turn the Guggenheim trademark into a franchise, with all the impact that the Bilbao operation would later have. In France this model led first to the construction in Metz of a Pompidou branch by Shigeru Ban, who delivered an undersized but successful building – it has attracted over a million visitors –, and later to the design by Patrick Bouchain of a small pavilion, the traveling Pompidou, which since 2011 has been moving around the country at a pace of one city per trimester. The Pompidou Center also had plans to set up shop in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but these did not push through. The Rodin Museum for its part is planning an outpost in Salvador de Bahía, and has just opened one in the airport of Roissy. As for the Louvre, the institution has announced an alliance with Atlanta, and especially a project that has caused fury from the moment it was made public early in 2007: the ‘Louvre in the Sands’ in Abu Dhabi, which will supposedly bring the museum a billion euros, with 400,000 of that coming only from the use of the brand name ‘Louvre’. The building has been assigned to Jean Nouvel, who has designed a sort of lakeside Arabian village covered by an enormous dome, 180 meters in diameter, dotted with holes. After some delay caused by the financial crisis, the building will open its doors in 2015.
Musée du Louvre
SANAA. Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa / Imrey Culbert
Yumiko Yamada, Yoshitaka Tanase, Louis-Antoine Grégo, Rikiya Yamamoto, Kohji Yoshida, Lucy Styles, Erika Hidaka, Nobuhiro Kitazawa, Bob Van den Brande, Arrate Arizaga Villalba, Guillaume Choplain, Osamu Kato, Naoto Noguchi, Shohei Yoshida, Takashige Yamashita, Takashi Suo, Ichio Matsuzawa, Andreas Krawczyk, Angela Pang, Jonas Elding, Sam Chermayeff, Jeanne-Francois Fischer, Sophie Shiraishi
Imrey-Culbert (arquitectos asociados associate architects); Mosbach Paysagistes (paisajismo landscape architect); Studio Adrien Gardère (museografía museography); Bureau Michel Forgue (economista economy advisor); Betom Ingénierie (ingeniería engineering); Bollinger + Grohmann Sarl (estructura metálica, fachadas metallic structure, facade); SAPS / Sasaki and Partners (concepto estructural structural concept); Arup Lighting (iluminación illumination); Transplan (energía energy concept); Penicaud Architecture Environment (medioambiente environment); Avel Acoustique (acústica acoustics); Groupe Casso (prevención de riesgos risk prevention); Atelier LD (realización de paisajismo landscape architect on site); Norm (señalética signage); On-situ (soporte multimedia multimedia advisor); Imrey Culbert (museografía 2006-2008 museography 2006-2008)
Roland Halbe, Iwan Baan, Hisao Suzuki