Site Verrier, Meisenthal, France, 2015

Hidden in the magical Northern Vosges Natural Park, the Site Verrier de Meisenthal is an active cultural center situated on the premises of a former glass factory. The site is organized around three entities:

A glass museum – a living memory tracing the history of glass at the site; the CIAV – an international glass art center where traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary practices; and the Cadhame – a multidisciplinary cultural space hosting art installations, happenings and concerts.

The design gives new life to this historical industrial site. A pliable concrete “tapestry” clarifies the complex topography and establishes new links between the various activities while creating a central plaza for the site and the village of Meisenthal.This new public space reestablishes the prominence of the historical site, but also introduces a highly flexible space to host a variety of events such as performances, outdoor theater, festivals and a Christmas market.

By unifying the landscape, the design reveals and amplifies the unique qualities of each existing structure. New functions are introduced under and over the “tapestry”, such as a reconfigurable 500 seat black box theater, art storage, new office facilities, workshop areas, classrooms, a cafe and restaurant. The architectural intervention fosters a dialogue with the historic character of the place while defining a new and contemporary identity for the institution.

Communauté de communes du Pays de Bitche

Meisenthal, France

Cultural center, visitor center, black box theater, art storage, offices, workshop areas, classrooms, cafe, restaurant

5000 m² / 53,800 sf

Competition first prize 2015, expected 2022 (in phases)

Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Ilias Papageorgiou, Lucie Rebeyrol, Seunghyun Kang, Pietro Pagliaro, Danny Duong, Antoine Vacheron, Max Hart Nibbrig

FREAKS architects

dUCKS scenography
MDETC cost estimator
MHI structural engineer
Peutz acoustic

Image credits
Aerial photo: Jean-Claude Kanny

Site Verrier, plan
Site Verrier, plan
Site Verrier, section
Site Verrier, section
Site Verrier, aerial
Site Verrier, public space
Site Verrier, museum gallery
Site Verrier, visitor center
Site Verrier, model
Site Verrier, model