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BIG scoops comp for new museum of the human body

Danish architecture outfit BIG has won an international competition to design the new Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France

The practice saw off competition from five other international firms to win the contest to design the 7,800m² Museum of the Human Body, part of the newly developed Parc Marianne.

The building features semi-transparent facades which curve through the landscape and an accessible roof garden.

Construction on the building is set to start in 2016, with the museum due to open in 2018.

Last month BIG completed the 6,000m² Danish Maritime Museum on the outskirts of Copenhagen.

Museum of the Human Body designed by BIG

The architect’s view

‘The museum is conceived as a confluence of the park and the city – nature and architecture – bookending the Charpak Park along with the Montpellier city hall. The building’s program consists of eight major spaces on one level, organically shaped and lifted to form an underlying continuous space. Multiple interfaces between all functions create views to the park, access to daylight, and optimising internal connections. 

‘Like the mixture of two incompatible substances – oil and vinegar – the urban pavement and the parks turf flow together in a mutual embrace forming terraced pockets overlooking the park and elevating islands of nature above the city. A series of seemingly singular pavilions that weave together to form a unified institution – like individual fingers united together in a mutual grip.’

Museum of the Human Body designed by BIG

Project data

 Location Montpellier, France
Type of project museum
Architect BIG
Client Ville de Montpellier
Local architect A+ Architecture
Structural engineer Egis Bâtiment Méditerranée
M&E engineer Egis Bâtiment Méditerranée
Landscape architect Base
Quantity surveyor L’Echo
Sustainability consultant Celsius Environnement
Acoustic consultant Cabinet Conseil Vincent Hedon

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