Museum of President Jacques Chirac
Client : Conseil Général de Corrèze
Architect : Wilmotte & Associés SA
Associate architects : Jean Parquet (1st phase) / Didier Chassary architect, Atelier Centre Nissou-Parquet (2nd phase)
Engineer : Laumond Faure Ingénierie, Betec
Area : 1,500 m² (1st phase) / 3,767 m² (2nd phase)
Refurbishment and fitting-out, followed by extension, of the museum destined to house the gifts received by the President of the Republic Jacques Chirac during his two presidential terms.
The establishment of the Jacques Chirac museum in Sarran, at the heart of a site untouched by industry and tourist itineraries, reflected a desire to respect heritage and the environment, and to create a tourist destination in the heart of Corrèze. This project, set into a site that offers views of the Monedières and of the Puy des Besses, shows off both the village and the museum. Built on a site of 11,000 m², the museum was conceived in the manner of a contemporary hamlet, made up of buildings interconnected by a set of terraces and retaining walls. The site and museum form a coherent whole, the museum finding its justification in the space in which it is rooted. The angle formed by the two buildings encloses the park and gives it a frontage that protects it. Work on the massing of the buildings, paying respect to the existing make-up, led naturally to breaking the project into two buildings that reflect, on two levels, the proportions of the existing barn. Separation of the volumes into two buildings opened the museographic visit up to the site's various viewpoints.
By allowing access and circulation through the centre, views over the park and street were opened up and the connection between the two buildings was emphasised. This central circulation is thus geared around the strengths of the site. On either side of the throughway that leads to the display area are arranged, just below and on two levels, the temporary exhibition space – very much open to the exterior –, and the more intimate permanent exhibition space.