Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Museum of civilizations in St-Paul, France by X-Tu Architects
August 5th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: X-Tu Architects
The site is a dry and scorching savanna, on top of a cliff that towers above the ocean. The scenery is radical and bare, sublime, and yet moulded by various flows : telluric flows of oozing lava , traffic flows through the towns and on the motorway, human flows of the peoples gathered on the island.
The project arises from the flows, from the energies, adapts itself to the outlines of the landscape, extends them across the motorway and curls them together into a spiral on top of the cliff. The visitor is led through the museum on a dynamic path which winds round the central patio, then up the spiral stairs of the patio.
The project is conceived as a positive dynamic rather than a particular shape and both ends of the spiral open out : on top the spiral blossoms out on to the light and the city, downstairs it unfolds into multiple paths towards the savanna The patio or « grand Kour » is the project center. Planted with giant « banians » (fig-trees) and a dense tropical flora moistened by spray, it creates a temperate microclimate which will cool down the museum rooms through mere ventilation, without air conditioning.
For such an environmental project in tropical surroundings, the façades are surrounded with peripheral galleries, shaded by supple fringes of Africain wood fibre (barkloth). The positive energy roofs are fitted with photovoltaic membranes.
Inside, the exhibition spaces are designed as a landscape dotted with micro-patios laid out in an archipelago pattern. A large supple ceiling, made of plaited wood, wraps the whole volume, forming a voluptuous and soft sky inspired by the fibres and the intertwined creepers of the rain forests.
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