Site Verrier de Meisenthal by SO – IL and FREAKS architecture

Site Verrier de Meisenthal

Hidden in the bucolic landscape of Northern Vosges Natural Park, Site Verrier de eisenthal is a publicly funded active cultural center in a historic glass factory dating back to the 18th century.

Three independent yet interrelated institutions: the glass museum (Musée du Verre et du cristal) – a living memory tracing the history of glass at the site; the CIAV (Centre International d’Art Verrier) – an international glass art center where traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary practices; and the Cadhame (Halle verrière).

They are also included a multidisciplinary cultural space hosting art installations, happenings and concerts are sited at varying floor levels. Our intervention unifies them to define a contemporary institutional identity in dialogue with an industrial heritage.

An undulating poured-in-place concrete surface alludes to glass production as it unites the buildings. The surface functions as roof, ceiling, and wall, connecting the buildings’ ground floors to frame a public plaza. New functions are sensitively introduced under and over this surface, including offices, workshop areas, a cafe and restaurant.

Existing building functions are reimaged and extended: the factory hall is given a new entrance on a previously unused basement floor and a 500-seat black box theater that can be reconfigured as a theater with standing room for 700 or opened into a concert hall
for 3,000.

The new public space heightens civic awareness of the historical site and also introduces a highly flexible venue for outdoor theater, concerts, and seasonal festivities. Source by SO—IL.

  • Location: Meisenthal, France
  • Architect: SO—IL and FREAKS architecture
  • SO—IL team: Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Ilias Papageorgiou, Lucie Rebeyrol, Ian Ollivier, Seunghyun Kang, Pietro Pagliaro, Danny Duong, Antoine Vacheron
  • FREAKS team: Yves Pasquet, Cyril Gauthier, Guillaume Aubry, Bertrand Courtot, Axel Simon
  • Project Manager: LFA
  • Structural Engineer: MHI
  • Scenography: dUCKS
  • Museography: Designers Unit
  • Cost Estimator: MDETC
  • Acoustic: Peutz
  • Planning Manager: C2Bi
  • Client: Communauté de communes du Pays de Bitche
  • Program: Cultural center, visitor center, black box theater, art storage, offices, workshop areas, classrooms, cafe, restaurant, bar, music studio
  • Area: 6,500 m2 / 70,000 sf
  • Status: Completion expected in 2021
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan, Courtesy of SO – IL