Musée de la Romanité Opens in Nîmes
17. July 2018
The Musée de la Romanité, designed by Elizabeth de Portzamparc, opened to the public last month. Located in the center of Nîmes, opposite the famous 2,000-year-old Roman Arena, the Museum of Romanity presents the city's extensive archaeological collection.
We first featured the museum in October 2017, when it was delivered to the City of Nîmes ahead of its June 2018 opening. The most striking aspect of the design by Elizabeth de Portzamparc and the firm 2Portzamparc, which she shares with her husband Christian de Portzamparc (he recently won the Praemium Imperiale), is the billowing glass facade. Composed of thousands of glass tiles, the facade is draped like a Roman toga, alluding to its contents from the Gallo-Roman period.
Built as an initiative of the Mayor of Nîmes, Jean-Paul Fournier, the Museum of Romanity has nearly 10,000 square meters of floor area with exhibitions, a bookshop, cafe and restaurant, as well as a 3,500-m2 archaeological and Mediterranean garden and planted roof terrace.
Inside, exhibitions display artifacts traditionally and also feature augmented reality, audiovisual technology, immersive projections, interactive maps and other technologies. The permanent collection has been laid out by Chief Heritage Curator Dominique Darde in a chronological sequence, anchored by the monumental reconstruction of the pediment of the Sanctuaire de la Fontaine.