The project concerns the refurbishment and the extension of the Lille Modern Art Museum, designed by Roland Simounet in 1983, in a magnificent park at Villeneuve d’Ascq.
The project aims at building up the museum as a continuous and fluid entity, this by adding new galleries dedicated to a collection of Art Brut works, from a travelling movement that extrapolates existing spaces.
The architecture of the extension wraps around the north and east sides of the existing arrangement in a fan-splay of long, fluid and organic volumes. On one side, the fan ribs stretch in close folds to shelter a café-restaurant that opens to the central patio; on the other, the ribs are more widely spaced to form the five galleries for the Art brut collection.
The Art brut galleries maintain a strong link with the surrounding scenery, but they are also purpose-designed to suit the works that they house: atypical pieces, powerful works that you can’t just glance at in passing. The folds in these galleries make the space less rigid and more organic, so that visitors discover art works in a gradual movement.
The architecture is partly introverted, to protect art works that are often fragile and that demand toned down half-light.
Envelopes are sober: smooth untreated concrete, with mouldings and openwork screens to protect the bays from too much daylight. The surface concrete has a slight colour tint that varies according to intensity of light.