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  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
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News and Events - Musée du Louvre

The Louvre at Lens

The project has just passed a crucial stage. On September 26, 2005, the standing committee of the Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais selected SANAA, an international agency represented by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, as the winner of the design competition.

A crucial step: choosing a design project
The Louvre at Lens project is “one of the most significant attempts to democratize and decentralize culture since the Ministry of Culture was first set up [. . .] It is a magnificent project sparked by the encounter between the will of the State and the motivation and conviction of the regional authorities.”
(Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, May 12, 2005).
The project has just passed a crucial stage. At its plenary session on September 26, 2005, the standing committee of the Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais selected the winner of the design competition: SANAA, an international agency represented by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, in association with the French landscape designer Catherine Mosbach and the American museographer Imrey Culbert.

The aims of the project
Henri Loyrette outlined the broad aims of the project in the specifications given to the architects competing for the contract: as well as adding a new dimension to the Louvre’s regional activity, it seeks to give fresh impetus to the museum’s thinking about its role: “The Louvre is not a Parisian museum: it is first and foremost our leading national museum and its art works and know-how are at the service of the nation as a whole. . . . the task given to the Louvre at Lens [. . .] is to explore all the components of the museum and all the roles–artistic, social and educational–that it can play [. . .] it is also a great opportunity for the Louvre, a unique chance to question our collections, rethink our role, and, by profiting from feedback, to serve an institution that has been forging steadily ahead for two centuries.”

SANAA
Sanaa was founded by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa in 1995; its multidisciplinary team is currently working on many projects, not only in Japan, but also in the United States, Switzerland, Spain and Germany.
Their light-filled designs are minimalist in style, but their handling of detail and the technical aspects of their buildings are highly sophisticated.
Their architecture is uncommon, immaterial and fluid. Materials become weightless and the hierarchical arrangement of space is abolished. The notion of a main or secondary façade is often replaced by an original design in which the wall becomes a membrane that creates subtle relationships between the interior and exterior.
This approach to architecture is guided by a willingness to respect the context of the project and the desire to create a daring relationship with nature and the environment.





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