Vendée History Museum
An emblematic building in green and bronze that deconstructs monumentalism for the benefit of a sense of openness to the landscape. At once spectacular and discreet.
A building hidden away amidst forested meadows in the Vendée. A vast green roof that, in summer and in winter, whether covered in plants or bare, blends into the meadow on which it rests. A museum that one enters by walking along and discovering each part of the façade. The creation of a history museum in Lucs-sur-Boulogne was a significant challenge. The apparent paradox between the will to create an attractive cultural space scaled to the surroundings and the wish to blend it into the landscape was resolved by the beauty of the site itself, a landscape of forest groves and rivers. The building is an event that is both expressive and discreet, embedded in the natural terrain. The museum entrance lies at the convergence of two paths. Inspired by the sunken pathways of the Vendée, a crossing highlights the pathway from the parking to the museum entrance. It takes visitors progressively deeper into the landscape and history of the Vendée. From the lower pathway, the museum is perceived as a sequence that punctuates the walk. The relief of the green roof and the facets of this large canopy are adapted to the volumes of the various interior spaces. Its inertia and large overhangs provide protection from the sun for the exhibition halls and conservation areas.
This project was nominated for the 2005 Equerre d’Argent Prize and presented at the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Construction of the Historial de Vendée History Museum
Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne (France)
Conseil Général de la Vendée
Michel Joyau, associate architect
Arest, structure engineering
Delta Fluides, fluids engineering
Paysage & Lumière, landscape designer
ECB, financial management
La bonne merveille, graphic designer
6,500 m² (net)
Delivered in 2006