Originally designed by Roland Simounet and inaugurated in 1983, the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern Art has now been extended by Manuelle Gautrand. The emblematic image of the new building is of perforated concrete walls, like giant doilies or modern mashrabiya screens, transplanted to cool northern latitudes, but the relationship between eras, architects, buildings and artworks is more nuanced and complex than this seductive snapshot suggests.
Clamped and wrapped around the eastern edge of the existing building, the new addition resembles a soft explosion or hand flaring out
in a series of kinked folds that follow the gentle contours of the topography. Intimately clinched in perpetuity, Gautrand’s concrete parasite plays a flighty, feminine Ginger (with flashes of lacily perforated petticoats) to Simounet’s orthogonal, masculine Fred. Yet in functional and experiential terms, the original building is still the main event. Its central entrance court and patio garden still anchors the enlarged complex and the new part is only accessible through the casbah-style meanderings of Simounet’s galleries.....more at review