Musée d’Art Moderne (MUDAM)
I.M. Pei Architect
Situated among the embankment walls that originally
surrounded the arrow-shaped inner fort, thus merging with the rich
history of the site.
The Musée d'Art Moderne (MUDAM) is sited at the edge of Luxembourg's historic center, on the grounds of eighteenth-century Fort Thungen. This fortification formed part of the defensive system that once secured the city's reputation as one of the most fortified cities in Europe.
The building is clad in honey-colored French limestone. Its
north side, where the exhibition galleries are concentrated, is
pierced by recessed openings. The south façade, by contrast, is
entirely glass, affording views of the ramparts and the historic
city center beyond.
Descending through a forest-like park, visitors cross the
historic moats into the entrance foyer, which opens towards a
voluminous central space - the Grand Hall. Here, large glass
facades and openings allow views to the old fort, as well to two
adjacent, also sky lit spaces - the sculpture gallery and winter
garden - from where the more intimate galleries can be
All public spaces are clad with the same limestone as the exterior. Filled joints between stones give the building a monolithic expression, enhanced by some articulated details, like the carefully carved-in handrail.
Structural beams and slabs are executed with light colored
architectural concrete, also emphasizing the homogeneous overall
impression. Special formwork made of Oregon pine made possible the
fine texture of the concrete.
The space frame skylight structures are made of stainless steel tension cables and lightweight ties, free spanning a distance of 30 m.
In the Grand Hall, fine metal tubes are mounted between the
skylight roof members. Those tubes, creating a fascinated
sun-shading on the large glass roof triangles, are also used for
acoustical and cooling purposes: partly filled with sound-absorbing
material, they ameliorate the acoustics in the large space, or,
when filled with water, help to cool it in the summer.
The museum contains over 3,500 square meters of exhibit space on
three levels. Visitors rise from floor to floor by several grand
stairs, perspectives constantly changing, movement itself becoming
an exciting event.
A glass bridge, crossing the ruins of the fort, leads to a small
pavilion and allows views out over the site. A similar experience
is provided by a cantilevered glass stair, which extends from the
museum's sculptural volume.
Due to curatorial requirements, most of the gallery spaces are mainly enclosed - with the exception of the "Premier Etage," where large, curved concrete sheds create a fine atelier atmosphere.
Facts about Musée d’Art Moderne (MUDAM)
Gross constructed volume:
Gross total floor area: 12,000 m2
Exhibition area: 3,500 m2
Georges Reuter Architectes
I. M. Pei
AT Osborne S.A., Luxembourg
RFR, Paris, Schroeder & Associés, Luxembourg
Bureau d'Etudes Jean Schmit, Luxembourg
Felgen & Associés, Luxembourg
Fisher Marantz Stone, New York
Projekt Licht, Saarbrücken
Xu Acoustique, Paris
Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, Paris
Ministère des Travaux Publics Administration des Bâtiments Publics
Last updated: December 13, 2012
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