Information: SO-IL and FREAKS freearchitects have collectively won a competitors to redesign a glass museum, workshop and gallery on the website of an 18th-century glass factory in north-east France.

For its initial venture in France, New York office SO-IL is collaborating with Parisian studio FREAKS freearchitects to reinvent the Internet site Verrier Meisenthal – a cultural centre occupying the buildings of a former glass factory close to the village of Meisenthal in the Northern Vosges Normal Park.

Site verrier Meisenthal by So-Il and Freaks

The factory, which produced utility glassware as effectively as hand-blown Christmas tree baubles, closed its doors in 1969. It reopened as the Meisenthal Glass Museum in 1978, although a former workshop on the web site was converted into the International Glass Art Centre (CIAV) in 1992 – utilised for displaying modern and traditional glass style.

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Local council Communauté de Communes du Pays de Bitche has commissioned the architects to modernise these two current spaces with the addition of a new theatre and exhibition gallery, transforming the complex into a five,000-square-metre cultural centre for the region.

Site verrier Meisenthal by So-Il and Freaks

The new 500-seat black box theatre and exhibition area, named the Cadhame, will host artwork installations as effectively as concerts and performances.

Idea drawings for the undertaking display a softly sloping concrete rooftop enclosing these structures and surrounding a new central plaza that is also bordered by the present factory buildings.

An unique brick chimney rises from 1 corner of a space that will be utilized to host outdoor performances, as well as festivals and a Christmas market place.

Site verrier Meisenthal by So-Il and Freaks

“Doing work on gathering separate cultural entities is anything we have previously knowledgeable,” mentioned FREAKS partners Guillaume Aubry, Cyril Gauthier and Yves Pasquet.

“But the status of Meisenthal is even much more challenging given that it has to be a very subtle blend of delicate renewal, with each other with new modern additions inside of a deeply rooted regional context.”

The architects will also produce new workshop places, artwork storage and office amenities, as well as a cafe and restaurant.

Site verrier Meisenthal by So-Il and Freaks

SO-IL would like the undertaking to “foster a dialogue with the historic character of the place even though defining a new and modern identity for the institution”.

“The design and style is inspired by the transformative method of glass making a reinvention of the internet site into a new form born from its background and hunting in direction of the long term,” said SO-IL spouse Ilias Papageorgiou.

Site verrier Meisenthal by So-Il and Freaks

The task is anticipated to be finished in phases between 2015 and 2022.

Photographs courtesy SO – IL. Aerial photograph by Jean-Claude Kanny.

Project credits:

SO-IL crew: Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Ilias Papageorgiou, Lucie Rebeyrol, Seunghyun Kang, Antoine Vacheron, Pietro Pagliaro, Max Hart Nibbrig, Danny Duong
Regional architect: FREAKS freearchitects
Structural engineer: MHI
Scenography: dUCKS
Scenography expense estimator: MDETC
Acoustic: PEUTZ

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