Hidden in the bucolic landscape of Northern Vosges Natural Park, in the northeastern region of France, Site Verrier de Meisenthal is an active cultural center in a historic glass factory dating back to the 18th century. Our intervention defines a contemporary institutional identity in dialogue with an industrial heritage.
Site Verrier is a publicly funded project composed of three independent yet interrelated institutions: the glass museum (Musée du Verre et du Cristal) – a living memory tracing the history of glass at the site; the CIAV (Centre International d’Art Verrier) – an international glass art center where traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary practices, and the Cadhame (Halle Verrière) – a multidisciplinary cultural space hosting art installations, happenings and concerts.
The design of Site Verrier alludes to glass production with an undulating poured-in-place concrete surface. This surface functions as roof, ceiling and wall, connecting the site’s buildings and framing a public plaza. New functions are sensitively introduced under and over this surface, including offices, workshop areas, a cafe and restaurant, and a 500-seat black box theater that can be reconfigured as a theater with standing room for 700 or a concert hall for 3,000. This new public space heightens civic awareness of the historical site and also introduces a highly flexible space to host outdoor theater, concerts, and seasonal festivities.