snøhetta: lascaux caves visitor center
original content
nov 07, 2012
snøhetta: lascaux caves visitor center


‘lascaux caves visitor center’ by snøhetta, montignac, france
image © snohetta

norwegian practice snøhetta has recently been awarded the bid to design the new ‘lascaux caves visitor center’ on the boundary of
the vezere valley and the hillside, between a dense forest and man-formed agricultural land in motignac france. the project will display
the artwork created by prehistoric artists on the walls of the natural stone vaults, and just like these artists who took cues from the
existing textures and irregularities to communicate their ideas, so does the architecture exist within a small fissure following the contours of
the landscape to effectively expose the subtle intricacies of the site. the long glass facade faces north towards the city of montignac
to receive visitors. varying transparencies define the curtain wall facade that constantly maintains a profile with the immediate environment.
the public service spaces are located towards this glass wall, receiving plenty of natural light, while the exhibitions are discovered as
the visitor explores further into the earth through a similar path that the ancient inhabitants used in order to reach the same point.
the project presents itself through a series of majestic spaces filled with silence, bustling trees, penetrating light in vast dark spaces,
hard rock surfaces and lively vegetative components that restore the spirit of the caves and their treasured paintings.


subtly set into the landscape, glowing with light at dusk
image © snohetta


concentrated beams of light penetrate into the exhibition spaces similar to that in caves
image © snohetta


floor plan / level 0
image © snohetta

project info:

architecture: snøhetta + duncan lewis
scenography / augmented reality: casson mann + jangled nerves
economist: vpeas
structure: kephren
fluid: alto ingénierie
light: 8’18’’ conception lumière
acoustic: daniel commins
project leader: frank kristiansen
main team: knut bjorgum, rune veslegard, igor duolé, craig, riley, daniel unger
location: montignac, france
client: conseil général de la dordogne
previsional cost: 34 000 000 €
building: 15 500 000 €
scenography – equipment museum: 9 900 000 €
facsimile: 5 000 000 € ht
outdoor: 3 600 000 € ht
calendar: 2015 delivery
total floor area: 8605 m2
facsimile: 1600 m2
site: 65,770 m2

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