in 2008, RCR arquitectes teamed up with the firm Passelac & roques architects to take part in the greater rodez authority’s design competition for the Soulages Museum. Chosen among 98 applicants, their project placed the museum on the north side of the entirely renovated Foirail garden. They grasped the significance of the site, considering it as a link between the historic centre and the new quarters.
Respectful of its surroundings, the building is organised in a succession of cubes. The intervals remind the passerby of the ''fenestras'' in the Aveyron and gives way to contemplation. Orientated towards the garden, the southern wall does not exceed three meters whilst on the the northern side of the site, the ‘'boxes’' overlook a pathway.
The steel reflects Pierre Soulages’ work
The cladding is made of Corten steel also known as weathering steel. When exposed to bad weather (i.e. to corrosion), this material creates a protective layer of rust. ''The Corten steel ages with time and perfectly suits the park’s natural surroundings. It is not a lifeless and sanitized material. Furthermore, its colour-range echoes Rodez’s pink -rey colours.'' (RCR Arquitectes). The shades of this steel also reflect Pierre Soulages’ work.
A unique place
The Soulages Museum is located in the heart of Rodez town, in Foirail Garden, a stone's thrown from the cathedral. Designed and conceived by Catalan RCR Arquitectes– Passelac & Roques Architects, the musem is spread on the north side of the entirely renovated Foirail garden. It fits its surroundings perfectly. Well-known for the attention they pay to the geographical location and surrounding scenery, Ramon Vilalta, Carme Pigem et Rafael Aranda immediately understood the value of that unique place.
The museum will take the fragility of the collections into account. Arranged in practical volumes around a monitored light, it will provide obscured and protected areas for papers (Walnut Stains, printed works), whereas the five high ''boxes'' will harbour the paintings and the cardboards of Conques' stained-glass windows under a zenithal light.
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