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BUILDING
 
 
MuRéNA - Musée de la Romanitée Narbonne
Museum for Roman artefacts
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DESIGNER
 
 
Norman Foster

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DESCRIPTION
 
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Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, MuRéNA - Musée de la Romanitée, Narbonne, FranceThe museum – the outcome of an international design competition won by Foster + Partners in 2012 – will house an array of Roman artefacts excavated in this region of southern France.

Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, MuRéNA - Musée de la Romanitée, Narbonne, FranceOnce a major Roman port, the city of Narbonne has been continuously inhabited ever since, and has accrued an impressive legacy of buildings, ancient relics and archaeological sites. Foster + Partners’ design, devised in collaboration with museum specialist Studio Adrien Gardère, is based around the prime exhibit of the museum – a collection of more than 1,000 ancient stone relief funerary blocks, recovered from the city’s medieval walls in the 19th century. Their display informs the architecture of the building, forming a natural barrier at the heart of the simple, rectilinear structure and separating the public galleries from restoration spaces, which are also to be accessible to organised groups. Visitors will be able to glimpse the work of the archaeologists and researchers through its mosaic of stone and light, and the flexible display framework allows the reliefs to be easily reconfigured and used as an active tool for learning.

A single storey structure with administrative offices at mezzanine level, the museum has a precast concrete roof canopy, which provides thermal mass and contributes to a comprehensive environmental strategy. The canopy is elevated above a clerestory and punctuated with light wells, extending out to shade a wide public plaza around the museum. The building incorporates galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions, a multimedia education centre and library, as well as restoration and storage facilities.

MuRéNA will be a new landmark at the entrance to the city, on a site adjacent to the Canal du Midi. The landscaping will reinforce the connection with the water to create a tranquil, natural setting. The ensemble is inspired by formal French gardens and the Roman courtyard and will feature an amphitheatre for open-air displays and events.
Spencer de Grey, Co-Head of Design, Foster + Partners:
Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, MuRéNA - Musée de la Romanitée, Narbonne, France“We have been inspired by the setting, by Narbonne’s climate and by the city’s fascinating collection of Roman artefacts. The gardens will strengthen the connection with the canal and surroundings, and at their heart will be a simple, energy efficient museum building. All of the internal and even some external walls can be rearranged – its flexibility mirrors the live excavation site, a shelter to accommodate the exploration within.”
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Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, MuRéNA - Musée de la Romanitée, Narbonne, France
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
France [France]
Region
Languedoc-Roussillon
District
Aude
Arrondissement
Narbonne
Town
Narbonne
Address
Avenue de Gruissan (Canal du Midi)
 
 
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Museums and buildings for exhibitions
Archaeology museums
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for cultural activities
Libraries and media libraries
Education buildings
Information centres and areas
Buildings for offices and professional practises
Offices
Commercial buildings
Bars, cafeterias
Restaurants
Buildings for recreational activities
Amphitheatres
Urban equipment and structures for public areas
Pedestrian areas, promenades

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS
Landscape architecture
Public gardens
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2012     project winner of competition
Realisation
2015 - 2017
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CLIENT
 
 
Région Languedoc-Roussillon | La Region Amenagement (LRA)
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AMOUNT
 
 
€ 40.000.000
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
site sq.m. 33,000
building sq.m. 6,890
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Oger International
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LANDSCAPE DESIGN
 
 
UrbaLab
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STAFF
 
Project
Foster + Partners
Architect of record
Jean Capia, Jean-Louis Fulcrand
Museum consultant
Adrien Gardère
Systems
Oger International
Lighting engineer
George Sexton
Quantity surveyor
Gardiner & Theobald
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ANNOTATIONS
 
 
Competition finalists:
  • Foster + Partners
  • Jean Capia
  • Jean-Louis Fulcrand
  • Jacques Ferrier
  • David Chipperfield Architects
  • Auer-Weber Assoziierte
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CREDITS
 
 
Render © Foster + Partners
Model © Aaron Hargreaves
Text edited by Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, MuRéNA - Musée de la Romanitée, Narbonne, France



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