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City centre: Cite des Arts et de la Culture, Besaçon, France by Kengo Kuma & Associates.

Photo credits: Nicholas Waltefaugle.

The city of Besaçon has a long history, argued over between the French, Spanish and Germans for hundreds of years. So it is with this in mind that Kengo Kuma & Associates strove to create an architecture that could be at one with the river and mountains, the ancient Citadelle and the cultures of modernity.

The practice created a strikingly modern cultural centre that at once has become an architectural focus for the city as well as the centre of dance music and performance.

The architects consider the roof, visible from the Citadelle, to be something like an extension of the river and mountains. It has transparent glass, sedum and PV panels creating a “façade” that is symbolic of the meeting of nature, building and culture in the public realm.

At the heart of the building is an old wood storage warehouse that acts as a link with the past. It imparts a discipline for the site in terms of layout and scale.

The façades of the new building are composed of wood and steel panels, and are subtlety modulated to articulate the two main schools that occur inside. Fundamentally, the building is composed of music and dance practice rooms, with an auditorium and gallery that also act as exhibition spaces for the institute. The centre can also accommodate visiting cultural events for the city.

Project credits:

Architects : Paris and Toyko

Kengo Kuma

Sarah Markert: Project manager

Elise Fauquembergue: Assistant

Jun Shibata: facade and roof study

Yuki Ikeguchi: Project director

Architect associate: Archidev, Cachan, France

Structure and MEP engineer: Egis, Strasbourg, France

Landscaper: L’Anton, Arcueil, France

Acoustic engineer: Lamoureux, Paris, France

Scenographer : Changement à Vu, Paris, France

Quantity surveyor: Cabinet Cholley, Besançon, France

Sustainable engineer: Alto, Lyon, France

Site Area: 20 603 m²

Built area: 11 389 m²

Client: Communauté d’agglomération, Franche-Comté, Ville de Besançon,

Budget: 26,900,000 Euros

Gratitude to Arch Daily.


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