H2o Architectes converts storage space into colourful studio for Louvre museum
French firm h2o Architectes has designed a brightly-hued educational facility, hosting art classes for young and old inside Paris's Musée du Louvre.
Over 1,200-square-metres, The Studio encompasses a common area and nine studio spaces on the lower ground floor of the Louvre's Richelieu wing.
What was once a storage depot for the Islamic art department is now a space for learning, where anyone from school children to professionals can expand on their own artistic skills and find out more about the artworks displayed in the museum.
The Studio's grand arched entrance leads visitors into The Forum, which functions as a reception and plays host to a changing roster of free 20-minute workshops.
H2o Architectes designed the interior as "a place for conviviality and exchange", with a broad bank of tiered wooden seating allowing visitors to perch and chat.
The cushioned seats can be lifted up to reveal storage boxes for workshop participants to stow away their jackets and other personal items.
Built into the surrounding walls is a series of backlit niches.
These showcase work by members of the public, as well as small-scale pieces made by the Louvre's in-house roster of expert guilders, painters, framers, metalworkers and other craftsmen.
Towards the back of The Studio are nine rooms for hosting lengthier workshops and training courses in everything from art history to project management.
These rooms have been painted in bright, punchy colours like lemon yellow, teal blue and vermillion red.
In contrast, the corridors connecting the rooms are much more neutral-toned and entirely lined in wood.
Their curved walls meet to form snug corners where visitors can stop and socialise while simple spherical pendant lights cast a warm glow throughout the interior.
H2o Architectes was established by Jean Jacques Hubert and Charlotte Hubert in 2005.
Since then, the studio has completed a diverse array of projects in France including an angular timber wine-tasting pavilion, a nursery extension topped with a fabric canopy and an apartment with hidden space-saving storage.
The photography is by Maxime Verret.
Architect: h2o Architectes
Structural consultant: Équilibre Structures
Construction economist: Cabinet Pilté
Fluid engineering office: INEX
Lighting designer: Agence On
Multimedia: Labeyrie & Associés
Signage: Wanja Ledowski Studio
Acoustics: ABC Decibel
Fire prevention and safety: CASSO & Associés
Supervision unit: Alpha Contrôle
Health and saftey coordination: Qualiconsult