Location: Lens, France.

Architect: SANAA.

The Louvre-Lens is an integral part of the Louvre project in the regions. It is located on 20 hectares of wasteland that was once a major coal mine and has since been taken over by nature. The architects wanted to create a low, easily accessible structure that integrates into the site without imposing on it. The structure is made up of five buildings of steel and glass, with four rectangles and one large square with slightly curved walls. The facades are in polished aluminum and the roofs are partially in glass.

Natural light is controlled by means of a concealment device in the roof and interior shades forming the ceiling. The entire structure of 28,000 square meters extends over 360 meters long. The Louvre-Lens is home to the Grande Galerie, Glass Pavilion, temporary exhibition gallery, La Scène auditorium, two level space, administrative services, and a restaurant. The landscape design includes a forecourt, clearing, pasture areas, grasslands, terrace, a small lake, a pioneer forest, gardens, paths, and an esplanade. This helps to make a visit to Louvre-Lens an enriching and wide reaching experience.

The museum park is designed to promote the adoption of the museum by all inhabitants of Lens and its region. It is intended to be a place for life, relaxation and leisure, and to provide a strong link between the museum, the city and the surrounding territory. The park has been designed to highlight the memory and history associated with the site, and to preserve rare species and plant native and non-native plants. Access to the park is free and will be open outside of museum hours.

Photo credit: SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima et Ryue Nishizawa – IMREY CULBERT / Celia Imrey et Tim Culbert – MOSBACH PAYSAGISTE / Catherine Mosbach.