Site Verrier, Meisenthal, France, 2015

Hidden in the bucolic landscape of Northern Vosges Natural Park, Site Verrier de Meisenthal is an active cultural center in a historic glass factory dating back to the 18th century. SOIL’s 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. The 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 blackbox theater that can be reconfigured as a theater with standing room for 700 or opened into a concert hall for 3,000. The 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.


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, aerial view of Meisenthal
Site Verrier, aerial view
Site Verrier, view towards glass blowing center
Site Verrier, view towards visitor center
Site Verrier, model
Site Verrier, model
Site Verrier, model
Site Verrier, model
Site Verrier, site plan
Site Verrier, first floor plan