The extension forms a new basement for the station, with its smooth, slightly tilted façade unfolding and running up to the surrounding retaining walls. The station has been preserved in its original form, and the new building creates a space for a raised terrace which can be used for openings, educational events or outdoor exhibitions.
The reception area, services and temporary exhibitions are located in the new section of the museum, while the permanent collections are presented on the two floors of the old station. The ground floor shows the transition from the village of Suresnes, with its traditions of vineyards and pilgrimages, to an industrial town which produced new mass-market items but generated housing problems. As they go upstairs, visitors are greeted by the portrait of Henri Sellier, mayor of the town from 1919 to 1941, and discover his ambitions and actions.
Models and objects displayed on large white tables tell the story of the town’s urban and social planning. Large-scale images are projected to provide context and animate the displays. The architects use the interplay of colours to successfully juxtapose contemporary architecture and a historic building: outside, the concrete imitates the soft, natural colour of the stone, while indoors the museography awakens the bright, joyous tones of the brick.
Mus, museum of urban and social history, Suresnes, Nanterre, France
Architects: Encore Heureux
Client: Ville de Suresnes
Area: 1000 sqm