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Charleroi Museum of Photography, Mont-sur-Marchienne, Belgium

Thursday 18 Sep 2008

From commodity to collaboration

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The Charleroi Museum of Photography challenges architecture’s role in society through collaborative design 

Recently completed in Mont-sur-Marchienne in Belgium, the extension to the Charleroi Museum of Photography intends to create a dialogue about architectural expression.

With a budget of €3.6 million the 8,230 sq m area was created with collaboration between the Department of Cultural Infrastructure of the Belgian French-speaking community, l'Escaut Architecture and the Museum of Photography. This collaboration was considered integral to the function of the building reflecting architecture as a ‘common cultural heritage’.

“Architecture can no longer be considered a mere commodity but must be recognised as an artistic and intellectual contribution to a project. A project which demonstrates a strong sense of purpose to live, work, entertain, educate, discover, assemble, administrate etc., while interacting with its natural, built and social environment and exhibiting a determined modernity,” said Jacques Lange, Architect and Director of Service des Infrastructures Culturelles.

“The Charleroi Museum of Photography is implementing a perfect example of such a citizen-driven project, working with the Museum Directors, the local population and the Commune of Charleroi to reflect on development of the area around the site.

Designed by l'Escaut Architecture the building holds exhibition rooms, a library, an auditorium and work space as well as a cafeteria.

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