© Salem Mostefaoui

A new entrance area for the Musée de la Cour d'Or

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City, Country Metz, France
Year since 2013
Client Metz Métropole, France
Architect Explorations Architecture
Services Structural Engineering
Facts NFA: 1,000 m²

This project involves the construction of a new reception area in the Chapelle des Petits Carmes at the Musée de la Cour d’Or in Metz. The chapel was built by the Italian architect Giovanni Betto in several construction phases between 1670 and 1770. Its dimensions are roughly 26 m x 17 m. The highest point of the dome is 17 m from the floor.

The main work consists of creating a public entrance area where the basement of the chapel is currently located. For the new entrance, a large opening (2.5 m high and 8 m long) will be made in the building’s foundations to emphasise the continuity from the exterior to the interior. A stainless steel spiral staircase, exactly in line with the dome overhead, will lead to the ground floor of the chapel housing the ticket counter, information desk, boutique, bookshop and access to the exhibition areas. The structural challenge is twofold: to provide functional flexibility (spans, live load) to the entrance area and to enhance the visibility of the museum. The project also involves reconstructing the ground-level floor with new foundations, thus providing the solidity required for the chapel to be classified as a ‘public-access building’ (ERP) and making room for a multipurpose area on the lower level. The planned structural work takes into account the existing structure, in particular the complex interface with the substructure.