LaM: modern and contemporary art at Lille Métropole

September 2010

Lille Métropole, France - September 25th, 2010. After over four years of work, on 25 September 2010 the Lille Museum of Modern Art reopens in the north of France. The original 1983 complex is now extended and has a new appearance and a new name: “LaM - Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art”. The special display cases and display layouts of the museum have been created by Laboratorio Museotecnico Goppion of Milan

The LaM owes its current structure to architect Manuelle Gautrand. Behind the original building by Roland Simounet is the extension, a construction divided into galleries with a winding shape that converge at the back with internal volumes characterised by breaking with the orthogonal layout. Floors and ceilings with variable inclines do not run in parallel, giving rise to an evocative dance of perspectives along the internal route. In this dream-like setting, without codified spatial references, are the display cases and layouts created by Goppion.

Cases of various types (tabletop, wall-mounted and special free-standing display cases with steel suspension cables anchored to the ceiling and floor) contribute to developing the museographic project conceived by architect Renaud Pierard, guaranteeing the highest standards of preventive conservation of the works exhibited there.

The display cases designed for the Lille museum come complete with technological systems for microclimatic control that minimise variations in relative humidity and avoid continuous exchanges of mass between the objects and the surrounding environment. To preserve the works and to eliminate this phenomenon, the cause of dangerous internal tensions, highly hygroscopic padding materials are placed in the cases, in special compartments.

The avant-garde construction methodologies of Laboratorio Museotecnico Goppion are the necessary condition for total control of air quality. All the moving parts of the display case, doors and technical compartments are fitted with appropriate seals in order to guarantee the perfect tightness of the cases and the correct conservation of their contents.
Finally, special hinges enable a perfect parallelism to be achieved between the planes of the movable part and the fixed part of the case in the closing phase, and a uniform pressure to be applied to the seal. In each case the opening devices are inside the structure, neither visible nor attackable from the outside.

In addition to the controlled microclimate cases, Goppion has supplied and installed podiums, supports and mouldings in the Museum to exhibit paintings and sculptures, and also the monumental doors - up to 6 metres high, fitted with a sliding system - that separate or connect the environments depending on the various exhibition requirements of the collections, allowing flexibility of use of the spaces available. An expression of the new tendency towards multifunctionality of contemporary museography, technological totems with integrated monitors offer video information on the works, while the positioning of seating along the route invites visitors to stop and pause for direct contemplation.

Goppion’s contribution to the Lille Museum of Contemporary Art is amply illustrated in the monographic volume published by Archibooks "LaM, le musée d’art moderne de Lille Métropole - Manuelle Gautrand architecture", edited by Lionel Blaisse.


Salle "Habiter poétiquement le monde" - Display cases by Laboratorio Museotecnico Goppion
LaM - Podiums and large retractable sliding doors by Laboratorio Museotecnico Goppion"
The external façade of the LaM: on the right, the extension designed by Manuelle Gautrand.

LaM: modern and contemporary art at Lille Métropole