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New Louvre Museum in Lille

New Louvre Museum in Lille
12 Jan 2010

Imrey Culbert and Sanaa are the winning architects of the Louvre LENS, the new branch of the Paris Louvre, atop an abandoned mine field near the city of Lille in France.

Co-designed by New York-based Imrey Culbert, Tokyo-based Sanaa, and Paris-based Mosbach Paysagistes, the new branch of the Louvre will span 300,000 square feet of new construction, devoting over 75,000 square feet of galleries and visitable storage areas for hundreds of treasures from the Louvre’s collection.

The 153 acre site selected for the Louvre-LENS is slightly higher than its surrounding.  As a result, the design strategy calls for a series of five pavilions – low one-story structures that will grace, enhance, and dissolve into the landscape rather than overpower it.  All of the buildings, whether reflective or transparent, meander slightly along with the gentle curves of the site. To actually fuse nature with the structures, highly reflective polished and anodized aluminum façade clad the volumes, creating blurred reflections of the surroundings, changing with the scenery, the weather, and the position of the person viewing it.

“The design is said to be reminiscent of the Louvre in Paris with its
two outstretched wings,” says Imrey.“  We conceived this new Louvre to
be everything the Palais Louvre is not, and sought to create
transparency both literally and figuratively.”

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