BIG has won the International Design Competition for their innovative Museum of the Human Body that will begin building in 2016 in Parc Marianne, Montpellier, France.
Drawing on Montpellier’s ancient medical tradition, structure creates a unique and truly original space perfectly marrying nature and the urban environment. Here, the body can be explored through a societal, artistic, and scientific lens using interactive exhibitions and cultural activities as well as performances and workshops.
BIG has penned it so that urban pavements and natural turf are seamlessly woven together, and the eight individual spaces ebb and flow from one unifying core just as many of the world's greatest museums have a great court.
The separate spaces of the 7,800 square metre museum form a network that takes advantage, not only light and connections to the surrounding natural scenery, but also enhance internal connections. The design encourages a flow of ideas, becoming a melting pot where art is inextricably linked to science. Like dropping vinegar into oil, the seemingly repellent ideas entwine in a reciprocal embrace creating a unified structure.
The collection of spaces echoes the multiple uses of the building, and is aimed to its exploration. In the ergonomic rooftop garden, for example, visitors are encouraged to relax as well as exercise, to indulge in quiet contemplation or throw themselves into performance.
Not only in the garden, but throughout the museum, a visual and physical connection to nature is emphasized. Inspired by the unique and universal nature of the human fingerprint, transparent facades stretch from north to south, and east to West. Solar shading is maintained through intelligently adjustable louvres that seek to maintain building temperature. BIG’s design was favored by the local Mayor over five other international designs due to its amalgamation of innovation, functionality and environmental concern.
Aimed ultimately at becoming a tourist attraction not to mention a popular venue for scientists, academics and art-lovers alike, the museum will add to Montpellier’s collection of cultural and scientific heritage when it opens its doors in 2018.