Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners reveals the project for a “fortress-like” archive for the Louvre, called “Centre de Conservation du Louvre”. Located on a former car park for the nearby SANAA-designed Louvre-Lens in Liévin, northern France, the project houses conservation centres and a Musée du Louvre’s archive.
The building contains 26,000 metres of shelving for art and can securely store 250,000 works of art from the museum’s collection.
“The building was designed to hold a precious collection of priceless art,” explained the creators.
The design of the enormous walls is inspired by the citadel in Lille designed by Vauban in 1667 when Lille was taken under French control.
The Centre de Conservation du Louvre has a green roof and a triangular-shape. Two sides of it are made from paired concrete walls, while the third facade is made from double-height glass. All of the centre’s conservation areas and offices are located alongside this glass wall, with the storage areas – that require highly controlled spaces – deeper within the building.
A large top-lit corridor, which runs the length of the building, separates these two functions and connects the archives to conservation and treatment areas. This high-quality space, called “boulevard of artworks” offers natural day-lighting, ease of movement and communication.
A second corridor, set at a right-angle to the “boulevard of artworks”, runs through the archive spaces, which are divided into six storage rooms.
These highly environmentally controlled storage areas are semi-submerged into the ground and decrease in height from six meters to three metres to create a variety of spaces for the museum’s extensive collection.
All of the mechanical services for the storage spaces are located between the two concrete exterior walls to protect the art works. It allows all plant-maintenance and replacement to be made by specialists without going near the Louvres collection.
The Centre de Conservation du Louvre stands next to a series of linear parks designed by Michel Desvigne that extend from the Louvre Lens.
Photography is by Joas Souza.