Louvre Lens by SANAA and Imrey Culbert
photographed by Julien Lanoo


Slideshow feature: these images by French photographer Julien Lanoo document the opening week of the Louvre Lens, the Musée du Louvre's new sister gallery designed by Japanese architects SANAA and New York studio Imrey Culbert.

The museum features a 360-metre-long chain of cuboidal glass and aluminium galleries that house a permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions and art from the local neighbourhood. Located in Lens, northern France, the building opened to the public last week. Find out more about the Louvre Lens in our earlier story.

See more photography by Julien Lanoo on Dezeen or by visiting his website.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Yet ANOTHER glass box(es).

    • right angles

      Better a glass box than a computer-generated blob.

      • kim

        This is actually a computer-generated glass box.

  • Pluk vd Petteflet

    Sorry but it still looks like a warehouse.

    • Nicole

      That's the point. And I still find it stunning and beautiful.

    • yogi

      A very elegant warehouse.

    • Chris

      If this is what warehouses look like in your city I need to move there.

  • Ran

    The most depressing-looking garden ever.

  • enigma

    Nice, but I am a bit skeptical of a kind of cut/paste architecture. I wonder how this can be contextual and I cannot stop thinking of Nishizawa’s sculpture museum. That was something different, but with similar sensibilities.

    • -DMC

      Why should it need to be contextual? The idea that architecture needs context to morally validate it just isn’t true. Of course, sometimes context is everything but in other cases it really isn’t that interesting.

  • kubo

    So it seems the apocalypse came a bit early for the landscape architecture design. I love it.

  • They must have spent loads of hours designing this (sarcasm).

  • cuneese

    Dezeen = the new Elle Decor.

  • rxrk

    Forget the forms and materials – it’s all about light.

  • Simoes

    This is so cold, it looks like a temporary airport terminal. Come on, Louvre? I can’t see how people feel good to see an exibition there. These guys have the same approach whether it’s a museum in Japan, France or Switzerland. It’s not a good way to work.

  • D.O

    Big disappointment from SANAA. Can they move on already? We are bored.

    • Nicole

      Actually, I think it’s more like they’re refining their aesthetics and design sensibilities with each project. Why move on from architectural values that they believe in?

  • we the architects

    The audience is bored :)

  • Kenneth Smythe

    Phillip Johnson’s Crystal Cathedral in southern California is marvellous. This glass building does not begin to rise to the level of marvellous. Pedestrian minimalist glass like the compositions of minimalist composer Phillip Glass. “There is no there, there”.

    • Matt

      The Crystal Cathedral is one of the tackiest buildings ever built. This is far more tasteful.

  • Kenneth Smythe


    Let's agree to disagree. It's a difference of opinion that makes for horse racing.


    The building is a bit TOO cold but it will get better as soon as the garden is finally planted, I guess.

  • ThomasV

    Clearly none of the commenters here have actually been to the museum. Louvre Lens is a wonderful piece of architecture and one of the best museums I’ve ever been to.

    With very light, open spaces, nice details and with a brilliant dialog between the building and the exhibition. You can clearly see when visiting the exhibition that SANAA and the museum have worked closely together. The museum is truly an enjoyable place to be, even if you’re not an architect or high on art. Judging the dullness of a garden in it’s opening weekend in December is just ridiculous.

    The only criticism one could give is that Julien Lanoo is the one who made it look like a dull sterile glass box, which is a shame since that’s what this article is about.