Site Verrier de Meisenthal

Site Verrier de Meisenthal

Architect
FREAKS Architecture

SO – IL
Location
Meisenthal, France | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Visitor Center

Cultural Centres

Theaters
Stories By
FREAKS Architecture

SO – IL
Iwan Baan
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Metal Window FramesSCHÜCO
Precast ConcreteFEHR GROUPE
Curtain WallHUECK
Roofing Built-upSoprema
SkylightsSOUCHIER

Product Spec Sheet
Metal Window Frames
by SCHÜCO
Precast Concrete
Curtain Wall
by HUECK
Roofing Built-up
by Soprema
Skylights

Site Verrier de Meisenthal

FREAKS Architecture as Architects

Hidden in the bucolic landscape of Northern Vosges Natural Park, Site Verrier de Meisenthal is a publicly funded active cultural center in a historic glass factory dating back to the 18th century.

photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan

Three independent yet interrelated institutions: the glass museum (Musée du Verre et du cristal) – a living memory tracing the history of glass at the site; the CIAV (Centre International d’Art Verrier) – an international glass art center where traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary practices; and the Cadhame (Halle verrière) – a multidisciplinary cultural space hosting art installations, happenings and concerts are sited at varying floor levels. Our intervention unifies them to define a contemporary institutional identity in dialogue with an industrial heritage.

photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan

An undulating poured-in-place concrete surface alludes to glass production as it unites the buildings. The surface functions as roof, ceiling, and wall, connecting the buildings’ ground floors to frame a public plaza. New functions are sensitively introduced under and over this surface, including offices, workshop areas, a cafe and restaurant. Existing building functions are reimaged and extended: the factory hall is given a new entrance on a previously unused basement floor and a 500-seat black box theater that can be reconfigured as a theater with standing room for 700 or opened into a concert hall for 3,000.

photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan

The new public space heightens civic awareness of the historical site and also introduces a highly flexible venue for outdoor theater, concerts, and seasonal festivities.

Team: 
Client: Communauté de communes du Pays de Bitche
SO—IL: Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Ilias Papageorgiou, Lucie Rebeyrol, Ian Ollivier, Seunghyun Kang, Pietro Pagliaro, Danny Duong, Antoine Vacheron
FREAKS: Yves Pasquet, Cyril Gauthier, Guillaume Aubry, Bertrand Courtot, Axel Simon

Consultants:
Project Manager: LFA
Structural Engineer: MHI
Scenography: dUCKS
Museography: Designers Unit
Cost Estimator: MDETC / VPEAS
Acoustic: Peutz
Planning Manager: C2Bi

photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan
photo_credit Iwan Baan
Iwan Baan
photo_credit David Foessel
David Foessel
photo_credit David Foessel
David Foessel
photo_credit David Foessel
David Foessel
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Caption
Caption

Site Verrier de Meisenthal

SO – IL as Architects

Hidden in the magical Northern Vosges Natural Park, the Site Verrier de Meisenthal is an active cultural center situated on the premises of a former glass factory. The site is organized around three entities: A glass museum - a living memory tracing the history of glass at the site; the CIAV - an international glass art center where traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary practices; and the Cadhame - a multidisciplinary cultural space hosting art installations, happenings and concerts.

Caption

The design gives new life to this historical industrial site. A pliable concrete “tapestry” clarifies the complex topography and establishes new links between the various activities while creating a central plaza for the site and the village of Meisenthal.This new public space reestablishes the prominence of the historical site, but also introduces a highly flexible space to host a variety of events such as performances, outdoor theater, festivals and a Christmas market.

Caption

By unifying the landscape, the design reveals and amplifies the unique qualities of each existing structure. New functions are introduced under and over the “tapestry”, such as a reconfigurable 500 seat black box theater, art storage, new office facilities, workshop areas, classrooms, a cafe and restaurant. The architectural intervention fosters a dialogue with the historic character of the place while defining a new and contemporary identity for the institution.

Caption

Ilias Papageorgiou, SO – IL partner: “The design is inspired by the transformative process of glass making; a reinvention of the site into a new form born from its history and looking towards the future. At this new multidisciplinary center visitors will experience contemporary art events together with insights in the rich history of glass making. We are very excited about working with a great team of individuals on our first project in France, which will allow us to expand our work on cultural significant projects around the world”.

Caption

Guillaume, Yves and Cyril, FREAKS partners: “Both project’s exciting features and clients’ unique way of considering their needs and targets put our mission at a very high level. Working on gathering separate cultural entities is something we have already experienced but the status of Meisenthal is even more challenging since it has to be a very subtle combinations of delicate renewal together with new contemporary additions within a deeply rooted local context. Working with SO – IL is a great chance for the project to provide a wider international set of references, project approach and culture.”

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