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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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 problem :
it had to be a place conveying the multiplicity in unity of the society in Reunion, a place where to awake a collective consciousness, a place for transversalities and exchanges, both an interactive laboratory and a place to live in.

Interior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

  • Architects: X-Tu  Architects
  • Project: Museum of civilizations
  • Location: City of St-Paul, La Réunion island, France
  • Client: Réunion Governement
  • Designer/architect: Anouk LEGENDRE + Nicolas DESMAZIERES
  • Team: Amelie Busin, Guillerme De Sa, Iliana Genova, Nicolas Jomain, Mathias Lukacs, Guillaume Mazars, and Joan Tarragon
  • Software used: 3DSMax and Rhino

Interior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

  • Status of project: september 2012
  • Photo credit: perspective credit: “PLATFORM”, model photo credit:  “XTU”
  • Program: Cultural, Museum of civilizations
  • Total floor area: 15.600 m² shon
  • Total site area: 48.200 m²
  • Cost: 49 m € ttc

Exterior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)


  • competition: december 2006
  • Contract: september 2007
  • Under building: january 2010
  • Livraison: september 2012

Exterior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)


  • Engineering, économie: Iosis Group
  • Muséograph: Ast
  • Lighting: 8’18’’
  • Ecological engineering: ELIOTH
  • Acoustic Engineering: Peutz & Associés

Exterior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

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.

Exterior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

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.

Interior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

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.

Interior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

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.

Interior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

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.

Interior View (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

Kour (Image Courtesy PLATFORM)

Model 1 (Image Courtesy XTU)

Model 2 (Image Courtesy XTU)

Light Plan

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Categories: 3dS Max, Museum, Rhino

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