TRANSFORMATION AND EXTENSION OF VILLA VAUBAN
Administration de la Ville de Luxembourg
Associated architect :
13 510 m3
2 050 m2
9 950 000 €
2001 – 2009
Civil engineer :
Ney & Partners
Technical engineer :
Goblet Lavandier & Associés
Lighting design :
Licht Kunst Licht
Bohus, Lukas Roth, Christoph Montebelli
Awards and commended
Luxembourg Architecture Award 2011
Copper Award 2011
International TECU Award 2010
Bauhärepräis OAI 2012
EU Mies Award 2011
Villa Vauban: an art museum in a landscaped park
The beautiful bourgeois interior of Villa Vauban is the perfect setting in which to highlight the private nature of the City of Luxembourg’s art collections. We therefore want to dedicate as much of the Villa’s available space as possible to the permanent collection’s future exhibit rooms. This is especially true given that if structured along contemporary lines, auxiliary functions (such as the reception desk, the sale of catalogues and books, the coat checks and access to the artwork) will considerably reduce the Villa’s available display space on the main level, where the entrance is.
We therefore propose dedicating the two main levels (the ground floor and 1st floor) to exhibiting the permanent collection, while the auxiliary functions would be compactly placed around the body of the Villa’s main building in a new, yet-to-be built extension.
The walls of the Villa’s rooms provide a harmonious framework on which to hang the artwork directly and doing so without having to resort to independent wall sections will help define the museum’s desired character.
The doors between the different rooms should be placed in a way that provides a maximum of straight wall space, and therefore hanging space, while respecting the building’s existing load-bearing structure.
The Villa Vauban extension: temporary exhibits
The body of the Villa’s main building will be shown off by once again making it the home of the permanent collection and will be at the heart of the newly conceived museum. It will remain the dominant factor and will dictate the architectural composition of a new section, built around the core and composed of an annex intended for showing temporary exhibits, as well as the auxiliary functions already mentioned.
This will extend around the exterior of Fort Vauban, providing a two-story set of connected exhibit rooms. At park level, building the annex partly underground around the surrounding wall will take better advantage of the existing landscape and also ensure that the dominant space remains that of the Villa. This linear setup will also enable the museum’s northern façade to face and open onto the municipal park, and, while highlighting the wall surrounding Fort Vauban, to create a footpath leading from the park’s lane to the garden.
The museum’s staircases will provide significant flexibility in determining how visitors will visit the exhibits. It will be possible to view only the artwork in the annex, but also to connect those rooms to the Villa itself in one large visit. Depending on where they are located in the building, the temporary exhibit rooms will have either artificial and natural lighting, or only artificial lighting.
At several places along the visit, visitors will come across areas that provide a view of the different parts of the Villa’s garden and of the park, thus better integrating the new museum into the surrounding landscape.