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  5. Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza
  6. 2009
  7. Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza

Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza

  • 01:00 - 11 May, 2010
Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza
Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza, © Nicolas Waltefaugle
© Nicolas Waltefaugle

© Nicolas Waltefaugle © Nicolas Waltefaugle © Nicolas Waltefaugle © Nicolas Waltefaugle +39

From the architect. Closed since 1962, the salt works in Salins-les-Bain have been an important productive site since the middle ages right in the centre of the French city in the Franche Comté. When the competition for restoration of the salt works was announced in 2006, the city authorities had already set the goal of transforming it into a monument to the history of local production with the aim of restoring its original central importance, not only symbolically but in the city’s urban layout: recently made a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site is intended not so much as a museum of salt but an open-air museum of local history.

This is why Malcotti-Roussey and Gheza’s project indissolubly links the goal of protecting the salt warehouses with the goal of revealing their symbolic importance for the city, which translates into a restoration to preserve the complex’s original architecture with declared modern additions.

© Nicolas Waltefaugle
© Nicolas Waltefaugle

Following a study conducted by experts from the Laboratoire des Monuments Historiques of the state of conservation of the walls, which recommended avoiding covering the historic walls saturated with salt so that they could continue to breathe and thus be preserved, the museum project was kept separate from its context right from the start, creating an additional interior within the interior of the building containing the museum itinerary and filtering spaces for links between different levels.

Unlike conservation projects based on retaining the invisible functions of the original construction, Malcotti-Roussey and Gheza’s installation, with its 31 cm thick cement walls, wooden flooring and steel furnishings made by hand by local craftsmen, fits into its context with the same visual impact and dignity of design. This restoration philosophy is expressed on the outside in an irreverently attractive element: a new parallelepiped that juts far out of the northern wall, made of Indaten® construction steel sheeting, recommended for its protective surface patina that makes it particularly resistant to corrosion by atmospheric agents.

Use of steel is a reference to the other building, overlooking the river and built to contain a casino, restaurant and auditorium on the site of another old salt works which was destroyed in the Second World War. Malcotti and Roussey also worked on this project, and chose the material to act as a link with the museum, improving the unity of the two buildings for different uses: three of the four walls of the casino are made with a double façade, in which the internal glass structure is protected by a decorative surface made up of steel sheets made by hand, all different, bent as if they were lightweight curtains but actually rigid, creating a strong contrast with the other building, compact and closed-in.

An element which focuses the attention of anyone visiting the complex, serving to distribute museum routes and house temporary exhibitions, the block set into the Salt Museum, contrasting strongly with the broken-up old stone walls of the salt works, reveals the architects’ work and their philosophy of restoration which attempts to transform the complex from a historic heritage building to a city monument.

© Nicolas Waltefaugle
© Nicolas Waltefaugle
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza" 11 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/59348/salt-museum-malcotti-roussey-architectes-thierry-gheza-architecte/>
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18 Comments

David Worth · June 30, 2010

The Salt Museum at Salin-les-Baines, France (an "open air museum of local history") http://ow.ly/25602 #indus_heritage

Restore Media · June 17, 2010

RT @urbanmatt: RT @arconserve Beautiful restoration of medieval salt works in France. Transformed into museum of local history: http://bit.ly/cIBEiw

Matt Cole · June 16, 2010

RT @arconserve Beautiful restoration of medieval salt works in France. Transformed into museum of local history: http://bit.ly/cIBEiw

arconserve · June 16, 2010

Beautiful restoration of medieval salt works in Salins-les-Bain, France. Transformed into museum of local history http://bit.ly/cIBEiw

Robin Cembalest · May 19, 2010

A museum design worth its salt RT @cfavedesign
http://bit.ly/c5eYAW

Soizic Hirel · May 19, 2010

RT @cfavedesign: Musée du Sel (Museum of Salt) http://bit.ly/c5eYAW Beautiful restoration/conservation and modern museum design.

Christine Lefebvre · May 19, 2010

Musée du Sel (Museum of Salt) http://bit.ly/c5eYAW Beautiful restoration/conservation and modern museum design.

The Big Black &amp; White Zebr · May 12, 2010

Nice box!!!...
Cor-ten is used a lot now, but here you feel the salt has help etch the rust into the surface... it sits happily, with its modernity of raw material and cantilever with the strong but interesting original buildings.
First class...

Justin · May 12, 2010

Salt Museum via Jameson&#39s fb

http://www.archdaily.com/59348...

Nicholas Patten · May 12, 2010

Salt Museum. http://bit.ly/a1zIM2

Travel Writer · May 12, 2010

Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza: Shared by Lucas

A beautiful way ... http://bit.ly/9LMj0N - www.talkitect.com

R Goldschmidt · May 12, 2010

This roosted skin metal box it is very good combination with the old building. Very good choise for the materials for interios. Great job Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza!

Spanky · May 11, 2010

Mysterious. Luring. Haunting. Contrastingly beautiful. So nicely done. I agree with Chris, I want to be there.

joe · May 11, 2010

really interesting use of material composition. nice job!

Cris · May 11, 2010

It's just great, I wanna be there...

ygogolak · May 11, 2010

This is awesome!

Andy Marshall · May 11, 2010

Salt Museum / Malcotti Roussey Architectes + Thierry Gheza: © Nicolas Waltefaugle
Architects: Malcotti Roussey Arc... http://bit.ly/9LMj0N

Thassio · May 11, 2010

I didn't like this box
Inside is beatifull

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