Snøhetta renovates the Natural History Museum in Lille


Lille, Francia,


The Natural History Museum in Lille is about to undergo a major metamorphosis, thanks to the project created by the Snøhetta studio. The renovation and extension of the building will significantly increase the space available to the public and to exhibitions, offer a new museum route, as well as bring the facility up to current safety standards and strengthen the museum's image on a local, national and international level.

Snøhetta renovates the Natural History Museum in Lille

From natural history museum to “Muséum de Lille – Sciences et Sociétés”: the new name chosen for a renovated museum dedicated to man, nature and civilisations. This is the beginning of the transformation of the Lille museum, which, with its two hundred years of history, is looking to become a scientific museum of reference for the Hauts-de-France region, with a focus of helping people understand contemporary challenges in terms of the environment and society.
An ambitious programme that requires the expansion of the available exhibition and public spaces, the improvement of museum routes and internal flows, as well as the adaptation of the facility to contemporary standards in terms of safety and security, and last but not least, the strengthening of the museum's image on a local, national and international level.
The design competition launched in 2021 was recently concluded and the renovation project created by the Snøhetta studio was presented on October 20. The project responds to the Museum's needs and programme by expanding public spaces by more than 70 per cent and rethinking all the internal circulation flows. The transformation is made possible by the addition of the already existing Gosselet wing to the current building and the construction of a new circulation and connection axis. Described as "the backbone" of the museum, this new building will be bright and transparent, connecting the three wings of the museum at all levels. In addition, the courtyards have been freed from extensions added in the 1950s, offering new green spaces that will become part of the museum's offer. The visitors' entrance will continue to be on Rue Gosselet, facing the city centre. The new hall located on the ground floor has been designed as an innovative and immersive space where cultural events can be held, and will also be home to the café, the museum bookshop and an introductory space for the different areas of the museum. The renovated museum is scheduled to reopen its doors to the public in autumn 2025.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of the Museum and Snøhetta

Project Name: Natural History Museum of Lille https://mhn.lille.fr/
Location: Lille, France
Size: 7,500 m²
Client: City of Lille
Timeline: 2022-2025

Architects: Snøhetta https://snohetta.com/

Collaborators: Atelier Adeline Rispal (Exhibition designer), Taktyk (Landscape architects), Quadriplus Groupe (Building engineer), Katène (Environmental engineer), VPEAS (Construction economist), ASK (Conservation specialist), Les Eclaireurs (Lighting designer), Innovision (Multimedia designer)


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