Architect: Kengo Kuma & Associates Location: Besancon, France Associated Architect: Archidev Client: City of Besançon, Region Franche-Comté Engineer: EGIS Est Landscape engineer: L’agence L’Anton et associé Acoustic engineer: Cabinet Lamoureux Scenographic engineer: Changement à vu Quantity survivor: Cabinet Guy Cholley Environment engineer: Alto Façade Detail Manufacturers: LAUBEUF Site area: 23,000 sqm Total floor area: 11,925 sqm Project Year: 2007-2012 Photographs: Nicolas Waltefaugle & Stephan Girard
This is the design of a cultural-arts complex, composed by FRAC museum and music conservatorium, planned in Besancon, France. Besancon is a historical city surrounded by a fortified wall built in the 17th century and registered as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2008. This long site is located along the green Doubs River which can be over-looked from Citadelle which is a fortified hill-top site and a landmark in Besancon. We decided to reserve the Pentagon buildings used as a fortress located at the two ends of the site and the brick storehose built in the 1930’s, and to build a roof to connect them. Under the long roof which runs gently along the river, two different programs are arranged: museum and music school. Outside spaces such as passages, terraces and gardens are inserted.
The roof consists of plants, glass and metal panels and solar panels to make a colorful mosaic pattern, a kind of nature motif, where people can spend time comfortably under a soft light. The mosaic pattern continues to the exterior wall.
The mosaic on the roof and the walls generates complex plays of light and shadow which are filtered finely and infuse the entire space. We intend that the roof serves to connect diferent architectures and different eras, nature, artifice and the universe. This kind of soft and permissive roof system will be further developed in other projects in the future.