CITE DU CORPS HUMAIN
Montpellier, France, 2013
PROGRAM: permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, event spaces, reception, museum shop, restaurant
Ville de Montpellier
SIZE: 64,583 sq ft
The design for the Cite de Corps Humain is a horizontal body, rather than a vertical structure. The Museum is organized as a horizontal public space, allowing simple flexible circulation on a continuous level of naturally lit galleries as well as a public roof terrace, which supplies photovoltaic power.
As the human body is 75% water, our scheme opens at the center to an urban axis view with a large reflecting pool in gentle level drops, which simultaneously functions as cooling for the building.
The roof is sculpted in concave curved fragments, which become convex light diffusing ceilings in the museum, distributing an even soft natural light of 25 foot candles to all the exhibit areas.
Connecting these main concepts is the overall path of movement through the museum spaces, which aims to turn the building itself into an instrument spirituel, a phenomenal experience of changing light through overlapping space, animated with reflections of sunlight on water and the sound of water at the ground level. Here the main entry hall, the café and the gala rooms have reflecting pool views and open out to the surrounding landscape.
- – Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl (design architect, principal)
Noah Yaffe (partner in charge)
Filipe Taboada (project architect)
Laetitia Buchter, Nathalie Frankowski (project team)