Sit Verrier De Meisenthal
SO-IL + FREAKS Architecture
Hidden in the bucolic landscape of Northern Vosges Natural Park, an 18th-century glass factory becomes an active cultural center
Having won the competition held for the purpose in 2015, the New York firm SO-IL and the Parisian office FREAKS carried out a revamp of an 18th-century glass factory. The former production area is now taken up by two separate but interrelated institutions, both having to do with upgrading and dignifying glasswork: the Musée du Verre et du cristal and the Centre International d’Art Verrier.
The undulating surface of poured-in-place concrete unifies the buildings, serving as a roof, ceiling, and wall at the same time and connecting the ground floors to frame a public plaza. Because the existing buildings are listed, the intervention was reduced to the minimum, adding constructions that strike a contrast with the old brick, such as the office blocks which embrace one of the factory’s chimneys.