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The Adrien Dubouché National Porcelain Museum

Boris Podrecca Architekten

The Adrien Dubouché National Porcelain Museum
By Francesco Pagliari -

Launched in 2003, the international competition to design an extension for the Musée de la Porcelaine Adrien Dubouché in Limoges included a brief to overhaul the entire museum, created at the end of the 19th century not only to house the magnificent treasures of a famous collector but also to narrate the history of porcelain in an area of France synonymous with its manufacture. As well as extend the museum’s overall surface area and exhibition space to allow broader display of its collector items, the brief also entailed creating a research and information centre that would highlight the link between industrial techniques and artistic creativity.
The winner, architect Boris Podrecca, took the connection between architecture and the museum concept as his cue. The extension joins and coordinates the parallel volumes of the old building. The new structure literally fits onto the historic complex, a new offshoot providing modern museum facilities and at the same time giving a new lease of life to the old building.
The extension is not a mere add-on but a real work of integration. The new part is grafted onto the old structure with large unconcealed steel beams and pillars. This new space is clearly the centrepiece of the whole complex, not just the physical hub but also, like a covered urban square, its pivotal social centre. From this entrance

the various distribution circuits lead off around the new museum layout. The mezzanine floor immediately above gives an initial overview of how porcelain is made. The architecture is essential and uncluttered. The high canopy over the front entrance resembles a trabeation. Its horizontal line is echoed down the whole elevation by horizontal profiles that mark out the wide expanse of glazing. In contrast to this transparent facade, the entrance door is opaque, creating a sense of expectation about what is to be found inside.
The front and rear facades of the extension rise to the same...

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