Situated in the leafy Villeneuve d'Ascq park on the outskirts of Lille, the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern Art came about in 1983 thanks to a generous donation to the city of a prestigious private collection of 20th-century art. In 1995, the museum received a substantial donation of art brut, including works by Carlo Zinelli, Paul End and Madge Gill. The museum grounds also include an enchanting sculpture park, which boasts Picasso's Femme aux bras écartés. The existing building is closely integrated into the park in which it stands; the new spaces make use of a resolutely contemporary architecture respectful of the old spaces without trying to copy them, aside from taking inspiration from the scale and relationship with the landscape.
Exhibition design: Renaud Pierard, Paris
The layout of the art brut collection makes full use of the open spaces and offers different perspectives on the works to instigate surprising dialogues between them and the viewers. The exhibit design intentionally recedes to show the works themselves to best effect. Soft light plays over the volumes, the walls of which are all painted in the same light tone. Goppion’s challenge was to integrate its casework with this quiet aesthetic.
Goppion has made the “museographic” part efficient by hiding all necessary technology and revealing only the elegant appearance of the fine materials. The pedestals and stands, made with a high-performance reinforced concrete, seem to emerge from the walls and floors made in the same material. Seamless glass display cases all but disappear from view, while the central cabinets have frames of etched glass that echo the architectural screens.
Exhibition area: 2,250 m2; display units: 33; length of exhibit fronts: 100 m