Contemporary Art Center (FRAC)

by | 20. Oct 2014

Cultural | Project
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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Nicolas Waltefaugle

 

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.
/KKAA
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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Erieta Attali

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.

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Nicolas Waltefaugle

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Nicolas Waltefaugle

To link the interior with the exterior in a fluid manner an “inner walkway” operates like the vital artery of a shifting, living building.

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Nicolas Waltefaugle

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Nicolas Waltefaugle

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.

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Erieta Attali

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Erieta Attali

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Erieta Attali

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.

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Kirsten Kiser

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Photo: Nicolas Waltefaugle

KKAA wanted to plug into the city by bringing its energy into the building.

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Contemporary Art Center (FRAC). Drawing courtesy KKAA

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