Cité des Arts et de la Culture, the cultural centre in Besançon (France) designed by architect Kengo Kuma, stands on the Doubs River. The key concepts inspiring the project are emphasising the ties between the natural surroundings and the city and revealing its genius loci.
Seen in its natural context, the building looks like a strong construction with a bold material identity, a monumental symbol of the gateway to the city and its link with the river.
Its longitudinal development follows the flow of the river and the volume of the old lumber storage deposit becomes a part of the new construction.
Seen on a larger scale, the boundaries between inside and outside appear labile and blurred. The building resonates with its natural surroundings: the hills, the river and the city. The semi-transparent roof is the point where the built and its unbuilt surroundings come together: panels of glass apparently randomly distributed by the architects give off natural light inside the building and give visitors the sensation they are sheltering under a big tree.
Design: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Location: Besançon, France
Images courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates, ph. Erieta Attali, Stephan Girard, Nicolas Waltefaugle