Editor's note

Visitors come to museums to see works of art, science or remains of the past, in order to get inspired, filled with new knowledge or to reshape the margins of their understanding. Catherine Mosbach seized the opportunity to offer a landscape that engages this mindset and is able to playfully explain the hidden stories this landscape inhabits. This is indeed a museum-park where visitors can observe what landscape has to say about itself and the traces of human activity on the site. One can move about as one would at an exhibition; passing through an array of different objects, each expressing its own statement … Catherine Mosbach revealed the layers of the site’s memory with all its features and debris, and translated them into a language common to the building and its programme. Whether you like its appearance or not, the Louvre Lens project is undoubtedly a strong conceptual landscape that reaches beyond practice by the book.

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Catherine Mosbach: When an institution like the Louvre positions itself on this soil and by extension in this area, it offers a striking opportunity, since its primary mission is to embody the memory of art. We are talking about types of encounter between these two universes that seem at first sight to be disparate and yet draw from the same resource that is commonly known as culture: art on the one hand, and an industrial and landscape culture on the other. Expert team invest Louvre Lens project to define a range of parameters for High Environmental Quality (HQE) national labelling cultural facility program.




Here, the project is enacted through withdrawal, subtraction, in order perhaps to protect meaning, cultivate its inexhaustible story, so that it reveals itself in its multiple layers, available to the visitors who wish to probe it. Our strategy restores the disturbed link between skin (recording surface) and depth (resource of yesterday and tomorrow). It opens the door to future ages by introducing the art as mediator of all the ages and as bridges to new mentalities. The park outlines the challenges of a programmatic content (triggers of active memory), the space strategy of a cultural facility (park-museum) and potential landscape events (extended Louvre park). A level represents each of these strata; each of these explains the temporal dimension to which it belongs. The Louvre gardens materialize at their intersection like so many extracts of a living memory. This technical and scientific translation of the resources is not however covered by an accretion of information that palpable divides the land.

The park is

Experience to the museum which introduces accessibility for all 10 entrances from the 4 cardinal points
Landscaped setting which extends the programs of the museum outside the wall. It is the place for cultural programming, animation and popular gathering in connection with the activities of the museum.
Connection between museum, city and territory
*a place of memory for history of the site and its relationship to Loos-en-Gohelle dumps
*a place that extends the horizon of the museum beyond its traditional perimeter of 1850, relaying contemporary art and its potential crosses with the ground realities.
*an articulated environment which offers dynamic morphing views to everyone
Attractive spot, a destination in itself, which promotes ownership of the museum by local inhabitant not familiar with art, mixed with the art-preferred population from all cultural backgrounds
*a space nearby available for walking and relaxing during the closed hours of the museum
*a recreational and leisure area
*an eco-friendly environment that creates social ties (relation gardens, respect given to the natural environment)
Integral and integrated part (without defensive display) the security system by museum: thresholds distancing (silt and wood fence, green canopy,…)
Sustainable process relies on the versatility and universality of the design that fits several functions
Articulated educational device to the site with temporality
*technical platform to expose maintenance strategy
*green class room under cherry circle
*lais network for 3 main strata

mine layer -industrial stage
environment layer-geological time
cultural layer -exhibit rhythm


Landscape Architecture: Catherine Mosbach/MOSBACH PAYSAGISTES
Architecture: Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

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