- Rodez, France
- RCR Arquitectes
- Passelac & Roques Architects
- Kevin Dolmaire
In 2008, RCR Arquitectes and Passelac & Roques Architects joined forces for the Soulages Museum's design competition, selected among 98 applicants. They placed the museum in Rodez's renovated Foirail garden, bridging the historic centre and modern districts.
The minimalist building consists of cubes with openings reminiscent of Aveyron's "fenestras," inviting contemplation. Corten steel clads the exterior, aging gracefully, harmonising with the natural park, and reflecting Pierre Soulages' work.
The design prioritises the collection's preservation. Practical volumes with controlled lighting secure delicate pieces, while five tall "boxes" protect paintings and Conques' stained-glass windows cardboards under zenithal light.
The museum aims to be a global reference for modern and contemporary art. Pierre Soulages played a pivotal role in the museum's concept, focusing on his Conques Abbey stained glass windows. The collection includes preparatory works, early paintings, walnut-stain pieces from his youth, and his complete printed works.
The Soulages Museum is not static; it's a dynamic venue for art. It features a large temporary exhibition space and plans to host national and international events. It's a tribute to its heritage and an embrace of the future.