kengo kuma floats alley at FRAC, synthesizing city and museum
kengo kuma floats alley at FRAC, synthesizing city and museum kengo kuma floats alley at FRAC, synthesizing city and museum
jun 10, 2013
kengo kuma floats alley at FRAC, synthesizing city and museum


kengo kuma floats alley at ‘FRAC’, synthesizing city and museum

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

 

kengo kuma and agency toury vallet won the 2007 competition for the fonds régional d’art contemporain (‘FRAC‘) in provence-alps-côte-d’azur (PACA) for their integration of urban and artistic ideas. now completely realized, it is located at a busy intersection in the joliette district of marseilles. ‘FRAC’ occupies a narrow strip of land along rue vincent le blanc, which opens to a small square, where a tower announces the presence of the museum and its entrance. these two parts are connected by bridges floating between the galleries.

 

 

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the museum is composed of two pieces (left):the main grouping of exhibition spaces is situated along the street to the southeast

(right): the tower to the north houses lobby, cafe, experimental terrace, and workshops

images © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

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the pixelated facade complements the texture of the city fabric

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

FRAC is located in the busy urban center of marseilles

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

 

open and accessible to the public, the building expresses permeability architectonically. a glass facade at the street level reveals public activities, and allows the main programatic mass to float above the city. wrapped in a pixelated pattern of pivoted panels, the volume catches and reflects light like a prism. however, instead of harsh reflections, the frosted finish creates a warm glow.

 

 

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 the facade creates transparency and lightness

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

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each panel, measuring 63 x 126 cm,  varies in opacity and orientation to the building 

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

 

the design’s parti, the alley opening to a public square, is emulated by the circulation peeling away from the main street, winding through the museum connecting several open platforms. these spaces also become an important element for human/art interaction, and incorporation of the outdoors. visitors gather to begin the art tour; artists use the space for exhibition, installation, and performance; the upper terrace over looks the city; a lower garden is protected in the center of the museum.

 

with an emphasis on remaining current with art trends, FRAC can now house artists in apartments integral to the facility. workshops and laboratories allow a greater support for the creation of contemporary art, in addition to its acquisition and display thereof. terraces and the flexible galleries provide optimum versatility for works of all genres, allowing the center to host a variety of events to perpetuate community integration and engagement. 

 

 

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the idea of the alley and public square informs the circulation through the museum connecting several terraces

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

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a break in the facade opens the heart of the museum to the city

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

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the terrace is a place for public and artist gathering, creating and exploring art, and enjoying views of the city

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

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an atelier serves the creation of art and exporation of ideas

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

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at night, the ethereal facade glows; its transparency reveals the museum’s inner workings 

image © kengo kuma & associates

 

 

project info:

 

location: marseille, france

architect: kengo kuma and associates

structural engineer: cebat ingénierie

program: museum, conference room, housing, document center, office, cafe

footprint: 1,640 square meters

area: 5,400 square meters

year: 2013

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kengo kuma (114 articles)