Snøhetta to modernise Lille’s 19th-century natural history museum

Norwegian architect Snøhetta has been selected to modernise the 7,500 sq m Natural History Museum of Lille, northern France.

The 200-year-old building will have an open circulation areas and flexible spaces connecting the main museum with its exhibition and storage areas, which are contained in parallel buildings. Other tasks include the removal of recent extensions and the restoration of the original façades.

The new spaces are described by Snøhetta as a “toolbox” that allow the museum’s staff to assemble a variety of shows. There will also be tree-shaded gardens in the museum’s courtyards and playgrounds for children.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Snøhetta’s co-founder, said: “The team has thoroughly rethought the design of the museum to propose an ambitious scientific programme for the Lille Natural History Museum. While the museum is a place where one dreams, grows and learns, it is also a tool that must enable the efficient management and upkeep of the thousands of pieces in its collections.”

The construction team will include designer Adeline Rispal, Belgian landscape architects Taktyk, French services engineer Quadriplus and construction economist VPEAS.

Work on the museum is due to be completed by 2025.

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