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MEAUX COUNTRY MUSEUM OF THE GREAT WAR Architect: Christophe Lab Location: Meaux Completion Date: 2011 Photographer: Philippe Ruault

The building of the Meaux Country Museum of the Great War is a brutal form, symbolising the effect of the mobilisation of forces on humankind and on the landscape. This allusive form disrupts the geography, concentrating the energy of war. The reference to the tortuous field of battle, the uprooted ground, is not literal but impregnates the imagination. A sheltered forecourt leads to the entrance

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of the museum. It is a covered space, a transition between the exterior and the interior. Its light grey paving is a vast silent map, representing the north-east quarter of France and reflecting a soft light. It can receive large projections showing the movements of troops at different points in the war. Crossing the forecourt to the entrance hall, the visitor’s path is illuminated and punctuated by pools of light shed by luminous openings like

enormous “spotlights” overhead. Looking up they are intrigued by elements of the museum displays on the first floor partially visible through these glass openings. A staircase with deep treads and shallow risers takes the visitor to the reception’s upper level. It climbs around the shop, which the visitor perceives from different angles before reaching the ticket desk and then the exhibition itself. Neutral

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French Museum Architecture  

Museum design

French Museum Architecture  

Museum design

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