The International Centre for Cave Art in Montignac, France, welcomes visitors to an immersive educational experience of the prehistoric Lascaux cave paintings.
Architects Snøhetta and SRA, alongside scenographer Casson Mann, worked closely with a team of archaeologists to create a holistic museum and educational experience. The form and materiality of the museum have a monolithic, sober expression, that speaks to the surrounding nature and huge rock formations. The cave replica was developed through advanced 3D laser scanning and casting technologies to replicate the original cave form.
The floors, walls, roof and façade strip are made from the same architectural concrete that gives the whole a monolithic aspect. The project’s second material, glass, dominates in the façade and in the roof glazing (supplied by Guardian) above the orientation area. This area is illuminated by a fissure of daylight from above, creating a calm and contemplative zone for visitors to rest between exhibitions.
Together with the concrete, the glass produces a series of contrasting effects throughout the museum: opaqueness and transparency, light and shade, unfinished and sophisticated, rough and smooth. Their balance helps give the museum a unique contemporary feel.
ARCHITECT(S): Snøhetta Oslo AS
ENGINEERING CONSULTANT(S): VPEAS
GLASS PROCESSOR(S): Tvitec