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.
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.
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.
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”
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.”