Natural History Museum contest - 3rd prize

Local authorities

Types of mandate

SIA 142 architecture contest to one degree in
open procedure - 3rd prize




7,461 mGFA, 41,373 m3 SIA





J. Leresche, B. Kaenel, J. Armengol, A. Micoud


The project proposes both raising the height of the Arsenal depot building and creating an underground wing, with a roof articulated across several green sloping planes, providing a sense of rhythm to the space between the depot and the HES.
A public square, with the museum’s cafeteria on the ground floor, was created along the Route des Arsenaux. The entrance to the museum, located on the upper level near the green lane (voie verte), is accessible either by external public stairs integrated into the volume of the depot like an arcade, or by a path that meanders between the inclined sections that create the transition between the bottom of the plot and its upper part. Access to the car park and to the spaces for two-wheeled vehicles is located at the bottom of the HES stairs; the entrance is placed in one of the folds created at the tip of an inclined section of the underground wing’s roof. The access point to the HES is thus integrated into the project.

This project within the depot creates an interesting route and offers varied spaces. The exhibition areas are located in the upper levels, in the elevation that removes the entire structure of the existing roof. The original roof’s memory is nevertheless evoked by a set of diagonals passing from the level of the cornice to that of the ridge, creating surfaces covered with wood on each facade, in contrast to the metal of the elevated roofing.

The volume of this new roof allows the creation of exhibition spaces free of structural constraints.