New York-based architectural practice led by the Swiss-born Bernard Tschumi have completed this circular, wood-clad interpretative center which commemorates the history of the battle between Julius Cesar and the Gauls in 52 B.C. Located in Alise-Sainte-Reine, Burgudy, the striking development encompasses two separate but related structures: a museum and a visitors centre.
More about the project:
‘The interpretative center is built of wood, much as the Roman fortifications would have been at the time of the siege. The roof of the building is a garden planted with trees and grass, camouflaging the presence of the building when seen from the town above. Visitors may look onto reconstructions of the Roman battlements from the roof garden, or stroll down a path to experience the reconstitutions first-hand. A keen awareness of the surrounding landscape as it pertains to the historic battle is integral to the visitors’ experience.
‘The buildings relate to each other, even though they are separated by almost a kilometer. The context of the site is primarily the natural, verdant landscape of Burgundy and the medieval buildings of the town of Alise-Sainte-Reine. Therefore, the strategy suggested creating two buildings with a simple cylindrical shape and a sufficient degree of abstraction so that they can be inserted independently into their context and yet provide the 360° panoramic view required by each of the buildings. The envelopes adapt to their surroundings through materials, while the form of the buildings is deemphasized.’