Museum of The Sea

CompanyC Plus D Architecture
Lead DesignerNicolas CREGUT & Laurent DUPORT
Design TeamNicolas CREGUT Laurent DUPORT Sophie FERNANDEZ Grontmij
PrizeArchitectural Design / Restoration & Renovation

The architectural aspect of IFREMER’s former premises soon found itself totally transfigured both in its use and in the improvement of its interior comfort. The complete reorganisation of the exterior space completed the conversion of the building which is mostly open to the Mediterranean. This intervention onto a site left useless for years has promoted an exceptional place and gives a view of the town and the port in one glance, from the foot of Mont Saint Clair to the Theatre de la Mer. The architects at CREGUT and DUPORT cleared a large part of the space in order to allow the most flexible use of the floor plan, walls and ceilings. Purged of an unsightly extension, the building has maintained its original structure in such a way as to remodel the building by erasing the slopping roofs, modified openings and a unified façade by installing thermal insulation. Playing on its material aspect, this line of thought is strengthened by a interpretation which is both loose and sober producing stretches out like a white parallelepiped and takes on the look of a modernist construction. The visit is presented in a way which displays three different sequences on the same floor. A general area describing the history of the port of Sète, another more specific area dedicated to the Aversa collection and the last area has been set aside to demonstrate the ancient tradition of jousting in Sète. Particular attention was given to the display of the Aversa collection so as to respect the historical chronology of building a ship. The models are in fact displayed in glass cabinets showing the different stages in construction The chronological history of shipbuilding is displayed on a long frieze under two horizontal windows which draw the eye to the horizon, whilst leaving “your feet in the water”.