The Idea of a walk through time organizes the plan of the new Louvre Lens according to a linear time increment along the rectangular frame, which is crossed by cyclical time in short circuits and different access points. The basic 8M x 13M grid of galleries forms a flexible morphology of spaces allowing north-south, or east-west circulation. The crossing ARCs, beginning with the Entrance Lobby allow the flexibility of closing some portions down for installation, while still offering flowing public circulation routes.
The galleries are on the top level and have skylights which can be controlled or obscured. All the Public outreach functions are on the ground level it is a kind of new public infrastructure for the town of Lens which can be open at all hours.
The main gallery portion of the building with steel truss structure is sheathed in core ten steel whose reddish-brown color compares to the local brick and tile architecture. This steel body floats on a glass and open level with many entrance doors providing views out into the adjacent gardens. The glass cross-cuts of cyclical time are each activated by adjacent programs:
First, the Lobby ARC which offers a double front allowing entry on the south and from the north. Here the main information desks, tickets, and orientation screens are located along with coatrooms and restrooms. The bookstore museum shop is adjacent and the cafeteria is visible.
The large auditorium (La Scene) is oriented at ARC 2 allows its own congregation before concerts or events or during intermission without interfering with the lobby circulation.
ARC 3 is the foyer for the media laboratory of the future with its special new technologies open to change. ARC 4 gives in to the panorama containing the large works of Jean-Pierre Alaux, which can function as a place of smaller receptions and meetings.
The ARC 4 space also gives access to the gallery level and orientation towards thematic gardens to the west and the restaurant.
The open glass level at grade expresses the priority mission of decentralization and democratization. The wide ARCs of cyclical time continue out into the landscape where core ten retaining walls form cup-shaped gardens and the thematic gardens to be orchestrated by Louvre Lens curators. The lobby ARCs extend outward to shape the new Place de Louvre Lens which fronts Avenue Alfred Maes and orchestrates all public transportation in a vital urban place.
Rather than a temple for worship of art, Louvre Lens is a new public infrastructure whose exhibition, audience and mixture of events make the place and the architecture.
The floating galleries, cut by the publicly activating ARC spaces in glowing glass will yield a challenging and dynamic new center for the worlds greatest museum.
Conclusion: Linear Time + Cyclical Time Concept
Linear Time; the continuous, irreversible everyday time of our existence; typically desacrilized today, is very different from cyclical time. Cyclical Time, which leads back to its beginning the lifetime of a cosmos was called adu by the Babylonians, hazara by the Persians, elam by the Hebrews, aion by the Greeks, and aevum by the Romans. The conception of cyclical, infinite time is the pan-Indian conception of cosmic cycles. Our concept morphology of a walk in time, the plan with cross cuts of cyclical time, establishes the possibility of a flexible equilibrium, questioning time as a mere dimension of measurement and chronology.