Nestled in lush greenery, in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine), the not too long ago restored Albert-Kahn Departmental Museum goes nearly unnoticed from the road. However, behind the door, there’s an inventive and vegetal universe imagined by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Eight pavilions, surrounded by gardens, home photographic works. Inside and out of doors are intimately linked and confuse the customer. Was this a sensible alternative for a museum? Parts of response in a reportage with Judith Chétrit, and within the debate with the important assembly of the Metropolis of Structure and Heritage, companion of this podcast.
It’s a story. Born French in Alsace, Abraham Kahn (1860-1940) grew to become German in 1871, earlier than emigrating to Paris 5 years later. At a younger age, he needed to cease faculty and work to help himself. However his ambitions are matched solely by his curiosity, and he quickly resumes learning regulation. Again in French, now referred to as Albert, the younger Kahn, a financial institution clerk, went into enterprise. On the finish of the XIXAnd century, an actual speculative frenzy took over the nation and exoticism was in vogue. He made his fortune from the gold and diamond mines of South Africa, created his personal financial institution and has been visiting the Far East since 1898.
The world pursuits him, in addition to the individuals who inhabit it, wealthy of their range and their tradition. He goes to satisfy them, he multiplies his travels, he marvels on the parks he crosses. He want to take all of them residence, to Boulogne-Billancourt, to his non-public residence! Las … However it’s no less than doable to breed them and if his backyard is just not sufficient, he can purchase neighboring properties. In thirty years Albert Kahn thus purchased about 4 hectares on which he had organized panorama scenes. They remind him of the villages he visited, even his native Vosges, which he had needed to go away.
On the identical time, he undertakes to attract up a visible stock of the world, which he calls “The Archives of the Planet”. They’re first primarily based on stereoscopic views taken in 1908 by his driver-mechanic throughout their world tour: they go to Japan, China and the US. They’re then enriched due to the photographers to whom the banker and patron grants scholarships to journey. Ruined by the collapse of 1929, Albert Kahn noticed his assortment frozen. Mounted, however already spectacular: it incorporates 72,000 autochromies, 4,000 stereoscopic plates and 100 hours of movie. This assortment is now preserved by the Hauts-de-Seine division. That is additionally the case of the previous banker’s property which has turn into a museum (closed for building since 2016).
As we speak. To revive modernity and renewal to this museum, the location was entrusted to the architect Kengo Kuma. The Japanese acquired his nation’s particular architectural and cultural codes and tailored them to the unique constructing. He has additionally chosen to make use of up to date methods and supplies. The doorway is in a useless finish, going through south, which makes noise from the noise of town. A construction that evokes the artwork of folding, origami, means that you can gently withdraw from town. “On this passage there’s a play of sunshine, a development in direction of the shadow, and the partitions provide acoustic safety”feedback Sébastien Yeou, venture director of Kuma & Associates Europe.
The customer then enters the museum itself, which is split into two: the constructing through which reproductions of a part of Albert Kahn’s assortment are exhibited, and the gardens – 4 hectares of panorama scenes, unsuspected from the road. . And it’s slowly that the gaze goes from one to the opposite, allowed by the large hall bordered by home windows. It’s the precept ofengawaone of many key ideas of this venture led by Jordi Vinyals Terres. “There may be one other factor that now we have borrowed from conventional Japanese homes, provides the architect and the sweat. In principle, these are screens made from skinny bamboo sticks, put in alongside theengawa to filter the view. In our case we used two forms of blades: picket and anodized aluminum. From the backyard, the constructing nearly disappears. “
The stroll, surprising and restful within the coronary heart of town, is lined with majestic beeches, oaks, pine bushes – some have been planted earlier than Albert Kahn purchased the assorted plots – but in addition the previous homes of the housing advanced, a few of which function areas exhibition. The spotlight of the stroll is the Japanese Backyard, with its rivers of pebbles, its maples and its bridges that cross the lake populated by multicolored carp. Japanese zenitude in the course of the Hauts-de-Seine …
The opinion of the specialists. Throughout important conferences on the Cité de l’structure et du patrimoine, architects and journalists mentioned the renovation of the Albert-Kahn Museum. “The contribution of Japanese architectural tradition in France was not evident, as a result of the requirements and cultural references are completely different, notes the journalist specializing in structure Sophie Trelcat. On this magnificent unique website, which may have been overwhelming with a lot marvel and sweetness, Kengo Kuma has managed by means of his work to create particulars – the dripping water alongside the buildings, the pebbles … – which are neither suffocating nor intrusive. . And, within the pavilions, he was capable of finding a stability between the previous and the brand new. “ It raises the sensible side of theengawa : “The accesses for the disabled, these of the fireplace brigade, are remodeled into aesthetic parts and are included into the venture with nice talent. “
Isabelle Regnier, from World, is bewitched by the place. “He slips into the constructing as you cross the opposite facet of the mirror, like from Lewis Carroll. We journey by means of time, we’re captured by what’s proven, by an creativeness. I want I may dwell in Boulogne simply to go to this place daily! “ Prosaic, observes the architect and journalist Philippe Trétiack “the right match” between the banker’s assortment and right now’s venture. Architect Richard Scoffier is extra talkative: “Kengo Kuma goes again to fundamentals. I’m nonetheless fascinated by his work on folds and supplies, particularly what he did in Japan, at Chokkura Plaza. He brings cultured structure. “
“Fascinating Archi” highlights buildings with exceptional structure and design. In every episode, take heed to guided excursions and vigorous debates, created in collaboration with the Cité de l’structure et du patrimoine. Discover all of the episodes right here.
“Fascinating Archi”, a podcast produced and directed by Joséfa Lopez for The world, in collaboration with the Metropolis of Structure and Heritage. Report: Judith Chetrit. Voiceover: Isabelle Regier. Director: Eyeshot. Graphic id: Mélina Zerbib, Aurélien Débat. Partnership: Sonia Jouneau, Victoire Bounine.