The Museum Landscape

architects Ryue Nishizawa, Kazuyo Sejima
project Louvre-Lens Museum, Lens, France
written by Dominique Boudet


In 2005, Jean-Paul Aillagon, the Minister of Culture at the time of President Jacques Chirac, passed a decision to build an extension to the Louvre Museum in Lens. The many centuries of the museum’s history, the vastness of its collections, but above all its central role in France’s cultural system, made this decision an important cultural act with many implications. With its Louvre-Lens project, the Parisian mastodon is leading a revolution. First, by its location, the Louvre-Lens museum reverses the relationship of the largest art institution with the nation’s territory. Second, by its architecture, it changes the institution’s image.