The territorial anchoring of the Musée du Lodévois et du Larzac is obvious. Its palaeontological and archaeological collections bear witness to the great wealth of the surrounding subsoil. These are made up of a red rock dating from the Permian period called ‘ruffe’, and formed by the combination of clay sediments and iron oxides.
Inventing new relationships based on existing situations, hatching an architectural dialectic between different eras: is this contextual? No doubt, if we refer to the Latin root of the word, contextere, which means to weave links. The tension between old and new, between heritage and contemporary architecture, can then be fascinating.
Paul Dardé's Grand Faune weighs 14 tonnes and dates from 1920. It is on loan from the National Centre for Plastic Arts, where it has been in storage since 2006. It is being presented at the Lodève Museum for the first time.
At work here, instead of technical feats, a widely tested technicality has been deployed. In contrast to the constructive simplicity, a few more sophisticated elements have been planned in specific areas: the quality of the concrete, the floor finishes, overhead light, the discreet integration of artificial lighting, an acoustic treatment of the exhibition rooms, museographic devices (showcases, augmented reality). What we save on the one hand, we invest elsewhere and in a perfectly appropriate way in order to produce sensitive and efficient architecture. The quest is for a certain aesthetic economy, yet carrying a strong symbolic value.
Winner - Culture category "museum / exhibition space", 2019
Here, everything has been thought out to recall temporality, the imprint, the trace, in order to accompany the museum's permanent collection in such a way as to make sense.
Archaeology / Human Footprints
Geology / Traces of life
Sculpture - Drawings:
Mémoire de pierre, The Paul Dardé Fund
In this complex place, the succession of constructions lacked legibility. With the possible exception of the Hotel Fleury, none of them really managed to stand out. We chose to insert a contemporary façade to mark the new entrance to the museum. The strong minerality of the project unites the different construction periods: it acts as a binder, both symbolic and structuring. From Rue de la République, the Hôtel Fleury is now visible and free of any parasitic construction. It serves as a signal. This heritage enhancement is accompanied by a redesign of all the exterior spaces in the forecourt. Strong red lines, a few centimetres wide, stand out in a light-coloured ground. Their irregular spacing is reminiscent of the past and its uneven accumulation. This principle of the line as a marker of time can be seen even in the permanent exhibitions of Earth Sciences and Archaeology, which have been completely redesigned. In order to grasp the full extent of these collections, several levels of approach are called upon for a perception full of nuances. The aim is to offer a well-argued, sensitive, and not exclusively descriptive reading of the collections through the development of real museographic landscapes that can be identified, that go beyond any decorative character.
Spaces are articulated by emptiness
All the collections are accessible from the new patio, located between the Hotel Fleury and the reconstructed Teisserenc building. This large covered and well-lit void is the contemporary counterpart of the inner courtyard of the old mansion. As Chris Younès wrote, “...the entrance of the sky into the patio is the most fascinating of shows; we see how a simple patch of sky can, in such a circumscribed space, evoke the cosmos...”. This relationship to space, taken in its broadest sense, and therefore to time, seems to us to resonate perfectly with the themes addressed in this museum: the imprint of life forms, civilisations and arts through the ages.
Restructuring, extension and museography of the Hôtel du cardinal de Fleury
1 200 m²
Projectiles, architect + museographer (project manager)
Laurent Dufoix, heritage architect
Emma Blanc, landscape designer
Albert et Compagnie, environmental consultant
Bureau Michel Forgue, construction economist
Ocd engineering, all trades
Polygraphik, graphic design
Hervé Audibert, lighting design
Comment, multimedia engineering
Community of Municipalities of Lodévois and Larzac
CONCEPT DESIGN 2012 → 2014
CONSTRUCTION 2014 → 2017
IN USE 2018
© Vincent Fillon