Contemporary Art Center (FRAC)
By Kirsten Kiser
Kengo Kuma’s project for the contemporary art center (FRAC) in the region Provence Alpes Cotes d’Azur (PACA) in southern France is the 3D version of the ‘museum without walls’ invented by the famous French writer and politician, André Malraux.
|Kengo Kuma wanted to create a particular space of creation and life, which action and effect is bounded to the entire city, as well as the surrounding district and neighborhood.|
It is a museum without a museum, a living and moving place, where the art pieces are in a constant movement and join the logic of diffusion and interaction with the visitors.
The building, composed of two recognizable parts, is situated in the waterfront quarter of Marseille on a triangular site, sandwiched between two streets.
To link the interior with the exterior in a fluid manner an “inner walkway” operates like the vital artery of a shifting, living building.
The main body along the street Vincent Leblanc contains the exhibition spaces and documentation center. A small tower, with an auditorium and children’s workshop, offers an upper terrace on the main boulevard. The building explores the theme of windows and openings of different scales.
These two clearly identified entities are connected by a set of footbridges and are unified by the envelope composed of 1,500 glass panels with changing opacity, reflecting the variations in light from day to night.
KKAA wanted to plug into the city by bringing its energy into the building.