Northern France Tourism : official website

The Louvre-Lens under a threatening sky

Architecture known for its discretion

The architecture of the Louvre-Lens is an example of humility. No over-complicated shapes, just clean, straight lines, 6 metre high ceilings, with a membrane which alternates between aluminium and glass. Even the 4 entrances are discreet - a rare example. The same rules applies to interior. Priority has been given to volume, picture windows, smooth concrete, and open spaces - the Galerie du Temps is a corridor measuring 120 metres long and 25 metres wide. The only round note is in the bubbles which create more private areas for visitors.

Interior of the Louvre Lens
  • The pared-down style allows pleasant spaces filled with light to be created
  • © Nord Tourisme

Green is predominate

The visit of the Louvre-Lens starts outside. Catherine Mosbach took her inspiration from 16th century parks, imagined by Le Nôtre, to create the museum’s close contours. Note the big pool which reflects the museum, and the copse, ideal for a stroll. The landscape architect had a blank page...of 20 hectares. She filled it with 6,000 trees, 26,000 bushes and almost 7,000 perennials. At the western end of the park, a forest of silver birches, oaks, and elders enhance the area. The landscape changes with the seasons at the Louvre-Lens. The cherry trees and rose bushes are the best barometers.    

A group of students sitting on a hummock opposite the Louvre Lens
  • A walk around the Louvre-Lens’ parks allows the museum to be appreciated in a different way
  • © Lightmotiv, Sébastien Jarry

The Equerre d’Argent thanks to the Louvre-Lens

Kazuo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have signed one of their most remarkable accomplishments with the Louvre-Lens. After winning the Prix Pritzker in 2010 for their career’s work (the New York Museum of Contemporary Art, the Christian Dior building in Tokyo), Sanaa’s 2 architects were awarded the Equerre d’Argent in 2013. The trophy recognises their work on the atmosphere, reflection, and luminosity of the Lens museum.

View of the interior of the Louvre Lens
  • The play of light and reflection is a work of art in its own right
  • © Lightmotiv, Jean Miaille

For more information

Musée du Louvre-Lens
99 rue Paul Bert
62 300 Lens
Tél. : 03 21 18 62 62