THE RECEPTION HALL The museum entrance, a genuine public space

A delicate glass box

Opening onto the museum and its park, for which it provides a crossing point, the central reception area is a large glass square measuring 3600 m2 with entirely transparent façades. It is supported by a light structure of slim pillars. It forms a link between the two main buildings of the museum: the Grande Galerie and the Temporary Exhibition Gallery. 

"This entry point offers an overall view of the building, and of the panorama over the park reflected in the glass and aluminium surfaces. The entrance space is designed as an open area that is part of the landscape and visible from everywhere. It welcomes visitors accessing the museum from the main entrance in the north, but also from the open green stretches to the east and the woods to the west. This large transparent volume (68.5 m x 58.5 m) is a generous space offering a range of different functional areas for the museum's visitors. Here they can go to the bookshop, meet friends in the cafeteria, check  information on the exhibitions or simply use the hall to get from one side of the park or museum to the other. The 3-metre-high glass "bubbles" which appear to float within the space of the hall, mainly house functions related to the public and create spaces for personal individual experiences. In order to open up the site visually and physically, the central glazed area forms an empty space in the core of the building. This delicate glass box serves as an entrance foyer to the museum and is a genuine public space for the townspeople of Lens. Transparent and open to the site in several directions, it can be used as a crossing point from one district of the town to another."



THE RESOURCE CENTRE A place for relaxation, work and discovery

Open to everyone to share, explore and learn

Situated in the reception hall, the Resource Centre is a lively space devoted to disseminating and sharing information, where newcomers and seasoned museum-goers alike, visitors on their own and families, have access to the different areas of knowledge related to the museum world. Open to everyone, it is designed as a "toolbox" and a place where you can discover how to use the museum. Here the exhibitions, artworks, collections, professions, codes and customs as much scientific as cultural are presented and explained. Visitors may also participate in workshops and training courses, try out new mediation tools, and share their experiences and questions with others, through discussions and talks. The idea is to give everyone the most relevant and useful keys to exploring, understanding and questioning the museum in all its dimensions.