SO – IL and FREAKS extend museum in france with undulating concrete rooftop

SO – IL and FREAKS extend museum in france with undulating concrete rooftop

renovating an historic glass museum in meisenthal


New York-based SO – IL and Parisian studio FREAKS complete the Site Verrier cultural center in Meisenthal, France. The publicly funded project stands as the renovation and extension of an historic glass factory which dates back to the 18th century, hidden among the postcard landscapes of northern Vosges Natural Park.


Designed in collaboration with FREAKS freearchitects, PILA & LFA, the project hosts three independent institutions. The glass museum (Musée du Verre et du Cristal) stands as a living memory tracing the history of glass at the site. The CIAV (Centre International d’Art Verrier) introduces an international glass art center where traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary practices. The Cadhame (Halle Verrière) is a multidisciplinary cultural space hosting art installations, happenings and concerts.


The concrete intervention by SO – IL unifies the three programs to define a contemporary identity that celebrates its industrial heritage. See designboom’s previous coverage including construction images here.

SO – IL site verrierimages © Jean-Claude Kanny



the sculptural rooftop by so – il and freaks 


The collaborative team from SO – IL (see more here) and FREAKS (see more here) sculpts the Site Verrier with an undulating poured-in-place concrete surface, recalling its history of glass production as it unites the buildings. Designed together with PILA & LFA, this surface functions as roof, ceiling, and wall, uniting the ground levels of the three institutions to frame a public plaza. Secondary programs are sensitively introduced above and beneath this surface, including offices, workshop areas, a cafe, and restaurant.

SO – IL site verrier



the ‘site verrier’ intervention


With its Site Verrier intervention, SO – IL reimagines and extends the functions of the existing buildings. The factory hall is opened up with a new entrance on a previously unused basement level. A 500-seat black box theater can be reconfigured with standing room for 700 or opened into a concert hall for 3,000. The new public space heightens civic awareness of the historical site while introducing a highly flexible venue for outdoor theater, concerts, and seasonal events.

SO – IL site verrier SO – IL site verrier SO – IL and FREAKS extend museum in france with undulating concrete rooftop


SO – IL and FREAKS extend museum in france with undulating concrete rooftop



project info:


project title: Site Verrier

architecture: SO – IL

location: Meisenthal, France

design team: florian idenburg, jing liu, ilias papageorgiou, lucie rebeyrol, ian ollivier, seunghyun kang, pietro pagliaro, danny duong, antoine vacheron

client: communauté de communes du pays de bitche

associated architects: FREAKSPILA & LFA

structural/MEP engineer: MHI

scenography: dUCKS

cost estimator: MDETC

cost estimator: VPEAS

acoustic: peutz

area: ​6,500 square meters (70,000 square feet)

suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

happening now! croatian furniture company prostoria stands as an example of a different and more traditional approach based on the evolution from the local factuality of all actors involved in the production process. explore prostoria on designboom! 

architecture in france (617)

concrete architecture and design (709)

dbinstagram (2250)

renovation architecture and design (765)

rooftop architecture and design (117)

SO – IL (39)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999