Research Task

Snohetta, The Musée Carnavalet Museum and The International Centre of French Language, Villers-Cotterêts, France

Snohetta are based is Oslo, Norway and create architecture, landscapes, interiors, product design and graphic design. I have carried out some research into their projects and have chosen three different projects with three different design specialisms, I have designed an A4 illustrated page for each project looking at each specialist skill for that particular project.

Firstly I researched the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway which was completed in 2008, the building is as much landscape as architecture. Here are the three different specialisms I chose to look a little further into – architectural roof design, lighting design and ironmongery design.

The exterior marble roof which was designed by artists Jorunn Sannes, Kristian Blystad and Kalle Grudeas, created as a surface to be walked on by the general public and enjoyed by those that don’t attend the opera or ballet performances. It was designed to be accessible to all visitors all year round.

The perforated cladding in the lobby was designed by artist Olafur Eliasson who specialises in sculptures as a visual artist. It is called ‘the other wall’ and consists of 340m2 of white light panels. A soft light changes colour while the diamond-like filagree shows differing characteristics of scale and hue when passing alongside the walls.

I was intrigued by the door handles, they were custom designed to mimic the ramp-like exterior of the building. Ironmongery is often seen as less important but on this occasion just as important to the overall design of the building.

Fig. 1 – The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway.

My second choice is The Musée Carnavalet Museum, based in Paris, France and was renovated to provide a unique experience to visitors where they can go on an intuitive journey and discover the rich history of the city of Paris, their story shown through displays of artefacts, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, woodwork, art pieces and photography. Here are the three different specialisms I chose to look a little further into – universal design, graphic design and furniture design.

The renovation enabled the building to become more adapted to children and people with disabilities by displaying 10% of the artefacts at their eye-level with improved accessibility but still carefully respecting the original building.

Graphic Designers have created beautiful wayfinding, exhibition signs, panels and mediation equipment that will help facilitate the overall museum visit, they have been translated into several languages making the information about the exhibition artifacts in the museum universally accessible.

Throughout the museum there is an obvious dark colour palette which compliments the organic shapes of the steel and refined timber staircases, all of which highlight the detail in the artefacts, very well thought through.

Fig. 2 – The Musée Carnavalet Museum, Paris, France.

Lastly, I chose the The International Centre of French Language, Villers-Cotterêts, France. The castle of Villers-Cotterêts was built in the mid-16th century by request of Francis I. The French king who initiated the Renaissance in France also promoted a standardised French language which called for the use of French instead of Latin. The centre hopes to be completed by 2022, is an important cultural hub where it celebrates both past and future of the French language. Here are the three different specialisms I chose to look a little further into – architectural structures, production design and furniture design.

The castle is surrounded by a hovering aerial roof supported by individual column structures separated from the castle itself. The rectangular frame-like shape of the roof allows for beautiful views overlooking the castle’s internal courtyard and the horizon beyond where visitors can enjoy that experience and access the roof via a ramp situated at the castle’s ground level.

The scenography, which is developed by CASSON MANN, is a permanent exhibition on the castle’s second floor and immerges visitors into the history of French language by encouraging learning through ludic interaction. 

Heavy wooden furniture against dark reflective surfaces and original floor tiling fill the ground floor interior space, increasing a sense of awareness between the past and present.

Fig. 3 – The International Centre of French Language, Villers-Cotterêts, France.

Images

Fig. 1 – Walker, T (2021) The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway [Indesign] in possession of: the author: Stoford

Fig. 2 – Walker, T (2021) The Musée Carnavalet Museum, Paris, France [Indesign] in possession of: the author: Stoford

Fig. 3 – Walker, T (2021) The International Centre of French Language, Villers-Cotterêts, France [Indesign] in possession of: the author: Stoford

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