I simply love Japanese architecture because everything is so serene, harmonious and with great respect.
We visited a department of the Louvre Museum in Lens (France) designed by SANAA (Japanese architects). Btw visiting the museum is free until the end of 2013.
Louvre Lens was first conceived as part of an international competition in 2006. It was created by the Pritzker Prize laureates of SANAA, in collaboration with New York studio Imrey Culbert, landscape designer Catherine Mosbach and museographer Studio Adrien Gardère.
The 360 meter long, steel and glass structure is integrated within a 20 hectare wasteland that was originally used as a coal mine before the 1960s. The choice of placing the museum on a former mine illustrates the intent of the museum to participate in the conversion of the mining area, while retaining the richness of its industrial past.
The Japanese architects from SANAA, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa wanted to avoid creating a dominating fortress. Instead they designed a low, easily accessible structure that integrates into the site without imposing on it by its presence. The structure is made up of five buildings of steel and glass. The facades are in polished aluminium, in which the park is reflected, ensuring continuity between the museum and the surrounding landscape. The roofs are partially in glass, reflecting a particular advantage to bringing in light, both for exhibiting the works and for being able to the sky from inside the building.
Inside ‘la Grande Galerie’ the ceiling is amazing. Natural light is controlled by means of a concealment device in the roof and interior shades forming the ceiling. Designed as an answer to the vaulted ceiling, the surface retains in its light the change of seasons, hours and exhibitions.