Lens, France | SANAA | 2012
Louvre Lens is the first outpost of the Louvre Museum. Located in Lens, about 200 kilometers north of Paris, the 360 meter long building sits on a former mine yard. The museum consists of five buildings: auditorium, temporary exhibition hall, main hall (ticketing, bookstore, cafe), gallery of time, and the glass pavilion. The building beautifully integrates itself into the landscape with its low building profile and polished aluminum facade.
The museum approaches the open archive in two spaces.
In the large, columnless exhibition hall, the Galerie du Temps organizes important pieces from the collection in a chronological manner. The hall is cladded with the same polished aluminum panels, which indicate the year at the top. Similar to Lina Bo Bardi’s MASP, the Galerie du Temps allows fluid movement throughout the exhibition hall.
On the lower level, the “Behind the Scenes” exhibition space provides visual access to the museum’s reserves. It features interactive display tables, interviews, and a large glass window overlooking the double height reserves.
Visited: March 6-7, 2018