In 2010, the European public architecture competition was launched and won by the architectural groups V+ and Projectiles, along with Taktyk for the landscape.
We suggested moving the programme to a new, autonomous, slim and linear building in the heart of the block. This was a departure from what the commission requested, but allowed us to undertake an urban and landscape reconfiguration of a set of disparate spaces.
The characteristic crenelated external profile of this project corresponds to the rhythm and height of the interior rooms. These rooms are built in a domestic approach and dimension based on a square grid of 5.3 m by 5.3 m. They differ from one another in their heights and articulations depending on the needs of the museographic programme. The whole approach of the project could perhaps be summed up in this search for a contemporary vernacular, an architecture that is in tune with everyday life, that accommodates the most ordinary uses, that spatialises human rhythms. The central and radiant layout of the building allows for an archipelagic functioning that exploits the various existing buildings. The foyer across the street subdivides the permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, the storerooms are in the basement, the educational workshops are in the old building, with direct access from the street; there is an estaminet in the pavilion in the middle of the garden, and so on.
The building adopts a horizontal profile, a writing and a materiality in dialogue with the vernacular constructions of the surroundings.
The whole approach of the project could be summed up in this search for a contemporary vernacular, an architecture that is in tune with everyday life.
The questioning of the competition programme, a simple extension grafted onto the existing building, is ‘in fine’ an urban project of restructuring the heart of a block, well beyond the scope of the commission.
The exhibition rooms are designed like the rooms of a large house: the beams of the ceilings, to which the wooden framework of the partitions responds, and the size and position of the windows deliberately break with the abstraction of the contemporary museum space.
The objects are not treated as being sacred. They are cleverly organised and simply exhibited so that they dialogue while playing upon the ordinary dimension of the architecture.
The scenographic project
The Museum of Folklore and Cross-Border Life is intended to be the opposite of any sort of ‘identity navel-gazing’. The posture has been to transform the Museum of Folklore into a museum of society. Working on the cross-border territory, a population fomented by three cultures, requires a more critical, more selective exhibition, more open to a background that is both tangible and intangible.
As a result of the lively exchanges between the museum team and the Maitrise d'Œuvre team, the scenographic project seeks a happy medium between exhibition and interpretation, science and entertainment, contextualisation and neutralisation, between the pitfall of dramatizing the collection and showing it without artifice, that of aestheticizing these everyday things, and thus overvaluing the least appropriate of their multiple dimensions. For the designers, these objects, which are properly vernacular, must find a domestic scale of display within the museum.
Simon Boudvin's artistic integration is particularly relevant to the context of the museum and its architecture. He solicited the recycling industries present in the region and proposed to add old bricks from eight buildings in the town - factories, houses, farms, a warehouse, a convent and a cinema - with the new facing bricks of the museum, whose demolition he also documented through photography. Eight ‘legend bricks’, glazed in white and bearing a number, indicate their different origins on the wall.
Museum of Folklore and Cross-Border Life
1 800 m²
1,5 HA (aménagements extérieurs)
Projectiles & V+ (co-directors) "momentary association", architect + museographer + scenographer
Daidalos peutz, acoustician + Fluid
Town of Mouscron
CONCEPT DESIGN 2011 → 2015
CONSTRUCTION 2015 → 2019
IN USE 2019
© Vincent Fillon
© Maxime Delvaux