Goppion meets the art of French glasswork

28 Sep 2016

Saturday 1st October sees the opening of MusVerre, the new museum of glass based in Sars-Poteries in northern France which has been fitted out entirely by Goppion. Four years after the launch of Louvre Lens, the town is once again celebrating its prominent role in glass production and craftsmanship; the new Musée du Verre looks set to become an international pole for art and contemporary glasswork.

Goppion was commissioned to fit out the whole of the Musée du Verre, whose streamlined, minimalist style echoes the unprecedented variety and originality of its collections. Large wall-mounted cases enhance the double-height walls, alternating with free-standing display units whose expanses of clear glass rest on simple but sturdy white podiums – the bases for other larger glassworks which are displayed without cases. Rooms flooded with natural light give way to more intimate spaces where only the display cases are illuminated, emphasising the fragility and exquisiteness of coloured glass bousillés in a kaleidoscope of colours and reflections.

The apparent simplicity of the display cases, accentuated by their pure-white composite resin covering, belies the complex engineering processes behind them. They ensure that the large wall-mounted cases stay firmly in place and make the glass doors in the free-standing cases (which measure up to 4 metres in length) easy to open, enabling curators to arrange the fragile collections of glasswork in complete safety. A combination of engineering and stylish Italian design, mirroring the linearity and purity of the Museum’s layout with sophisticated but invisible technical solutions, has once again enabled Goppion to execute the designers’ original ideas and projects in full while guaranteeing complete safety for the artistic heritage its display cases are required to protect.

Set in the stunning natural surroundings of the Parc de l’Avesnois, the new building designed by French architects Voinchet & Architectes Associés provides the town with new public spaces for education, debate and social events. It was essential that its design wholly reflected its natural setting. Fluid and luminous, the single-storey Museum draws in different aspects of the landscape, offering a series of unbroken views of its surroundings. The graceful, understated architecture ensures that the artworks take centre stage, heightening the individual features of the various collections in separate rooms.