Musée des Beaux-arts Ville de Reims, French Museum Building, Architecture Design France

Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims

New Reims Museum Building, France design by David Chipperfield Architects, UK

30 May 2012

Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims, France

Location: northeast France

Design: David Chipperfield Architects, London

The new Musée des Beaux-arts is situated on the periphery of a long green space, arising from the town fortifications, between the old and new town. The Gallo-Roman gate and the modernist market hall, located in its vicinity, are evidence of Reim’s architectural history from antiquity to modern times. An excavation site with mediaeval findings is situated at the site of the new museum.

The freestanding building is composed of three bar-formed volumes with monopitched roofs. The translucent façade is clad with marble slabs at the plinth zone and glass ceramic panels in the upper area. A twelve metre high, self-supporting hall opens up to the city on three sides and spans the excavation site.

The hall provides a publicly accessible transition space between inside and outside. The light falling through the translucent marble gives the space a unique atmosphere. Suspended, wooden bridges bring together the different approach routes and lead across the archaeological findings into the foyer overlooking the excavation site.

Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims
images © David Chipperfield Architects

Cloakrooms, a café and an auditorium lead off from the foyer. The art depot is located in the two basement floors, while the exhibition rooms – displaying paintings, sculptures and objects from the 15th to 21st century – progress upwards in chronological sequence. The longitudinal main rooms can be divided flexibly.

Smaller galleries, devoted to different artists or collectors, branch off from the main rooms. In addition to the sequence of galleries there are art education rooms and spaces where visitors can relax, offering views over the town. A library, sculpture garden and glimpses into the non-public restoration workshops round off the museum experience.

A large proportion of the exhibition space is naturally lit. Light-diffusing ceilings in the uppermost floor distribute the daylight evenly through the pitched roofs. The large, translucent façade areas in the first two floors make it possible to control the incidence of side light, the preferred lighting for the exhibits on display, while individual windows draw the visitor’s attention providing views up to the cathedral.

Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims
images © David Chipperfield Architects

Musée des Beaux-arts Rheims – Building Information

Project start: 2012
Gross floor area: 14,000 m2
Client: Ville de Reims
User: Musée des Beaux-arts Reims
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Structural engineer: O.T.E. Ingénierie
Services engineer: Otelio
Lighting consultant: 8‘/18“ – Concepteurs et Plasticiens lumière
Renderings: David Chipperfield Architects

Competition: Sep 2011 – Jan 2012
Architect – Principal: David Chipperfield
Directors: Alexander Schwarz – Design director
Harald Müller – Managing director
Project architect: Annette Flohrschütz
Project team: Maria Busch, Anton Hahn, Christian Helfrich, Cyril Kriwan, Dalia Liksaite, Franziska Rusch, Thomas Schöpf
Exhibition design: Element GmbH – design & scenography, Basel
Building physics: Otelio, Colmar
Fire protection consultant: O.T.E. Ingénierie, Illkirch
Quantity surveyor: O.T.E. Ingénierie, Illkirch

Musée des Beaux-arts Reims images / information from David Chipperfield Architects

David Chipperfield

Address: Musée des Beaux-arts – Ville de Reims, 8 Rue Chanzy, 51100 Rheims, France, western Europe

Contact Musée des Beaux-arts Reims: 03 26 47 28 44

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