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Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

France Architecture News - Sep 28, 2021 - 19:10   2884 views

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Kengo Kuma and Associates has unveiled design for a modern intervention to the western portal of the Cathédrale Saint-Maurice in Angers, France, aiming to protect polychromatic 12th century and 17th century sculptures from medieval and modern periods within the cathedral.

Kengo Kuma's office was commissioned to design a contemporary gallery to protect the western portal of Angers Cathedral. The studio created "a harmonious dialogue" between a contemporary addition while preserving Middle-Age architectural heritage.

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates – image by l’autreimage

"The uniqueness of this portal, dating from the 12th century, is represented by these multi-coloured stone relics typical of the Middle Ages, and only a new construction will be able to preserve it sustainably," said Kengo Kuma and Associates.

Construction of the portals has already begun and they are expected to be completed in 2024. 

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

As the office explains, "we wanted to put ourselves in the shoes of the builders of the Middle Ages and to create a regulatory framework, using compasses, thus generating the proportions which lead to unity."

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

To achieve this, the studio wanted to use the best stone processes as much as possible in which the material frees itself from the thick walls of the cathedral built in stereotomy. 

In the end, the depthness and layering of the stone create a contemporary feeling to the building by implementing a special technical process. By adding this contemporary look, the studio still preserves the feeling of history of architecture.

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

As a result, by offsetting arches from inwards, the stone is made in precise dimensions, it creates a smooth feeling of depthness for visitors for whom see the portals from afar. 

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

Kengo Kuma And Associates adds sculptural portals to historic Angers Cathedral in France

Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates

Kengo Kuma and Associates recently designed metal curtain at the atrium of Casa Batlló. The firm also revealed flower-shaped Eiko Kadono Children's Literature Museum in Tokyo. 

Project facts

Project name: Réalisation d’un ouvrage de protection du portail occidental de la Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d’Angers, France

Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates

Project team: Chizuko Kawarada, Elise Fauquembergue, Carla Beaujard, Hiromichi Kamiya

Date: 2020 – 2024

Size: 147m2

Heritage architect: Vincent Brunelle, Martin Brunelle

General Engineering, Quantity surveyor: BETEM Atlantique- Jean-François Renaud, Boris Rombolotto

Lighting designer: 8’18’’ concepteurs et plasticiens lumière- Emmanuelle Sebie, Line Muckensturm

Images(exterior) © Kengo Kuma & Associates – image by l’autreimage

Images(interior) © Kengo Kuma & Associates – image by Kengo Kuma & Associates

> via Kengo Kuma and Associates