Advertise Here

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The MuCEM - Monumental Design

By Marina Correa
Photography:  Lisa Ricciotti; courtesy the architects

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti
.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) is a cube of lacy concrete that precariously lies at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti, the institution is an ode to the culture of that very sea…

An idyllic footbridge connects it to a 17th century historic fort Saint-Jean and the azure sea below. The architect describes the building as a ‘vertical kasbah’, referring to its location on the harbour, which seems to float between water and sky. Open to the heavens, it draws a horizon, where the two shores meet.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti
.

Being a huge supporter of concrete, Rudy comes up with the most prolific designs - be it the Pavilion Noir dance studios in Aix-en-Provence or the Musée Jean-Cocteau in Menton or the Islamic art galleries at the Louvre and now the MuCEM.

Inside the museum, two levels of exhibition space highlight historic stories from the spice route, mythology and routes to Jerusalem. Besides this, an auditorium, children’s area, bookstore, offices, café and restaurant with outdoor terraces that overlook the sea comprise the milieu.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti
.

Outdoor observation areas are also encased within the double skin filigree- mantilla, providing shaded areas for conversations and contemplation.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti
.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti
.

The completed building is enigmatic but the architect believes that it possesses ying and yang energies, complimenting each other. Perhaps, the MuCEM is best seen as a brilliant piece of landscape design, where questions of scale, vantage location and handling of light and shadows are brought into play; a backdrop, whose presence both, frames and enriches the experience of its townsfolk.

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM) at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti
.

The lighting scheme created by Yann Kersalé as an installation of coloured lights, dramatizes the ensemble of the building façades, giving the impression of an aquatic shimmering.

No comments :

Post a Comment