|UK-headquartered architect RSHP has unveiled its designs for the Bayeux Tapestry museum, which has occupied Bayeux’s 17th Century Grand Séminaire for the last 40 years.
The new museum will be built next to its current home, within an 11,000-sq-m urban area containing an extension and two new structures.
Commemorating William, Duke of Normandy’s conquest of England in 1066, the 70m-long tapestry will be displayed on an inclined support, meeting conservation requirements for the fragile artwork, thought to date to about 1077.
The viewing space lets visitors study the tapestry’s 58 scenes from varying heights.
The museum will also gain cloakrooms, classrooms, a study room, auditorium and temporary exhibition room.
The Grand Séminaire will be renovated, retaining historic features while adapting it for new uses.
Stephen Barrett, RSHP Partner, said: “As a British practice with a long history of working in France, there’s poetry in being able to contribute to a project that symbolises the deep connections between our two countries, renewing these bonds and helping the next generations in their rediscovery of the tapestry, itself a unique embodiment of this shared past.”
Antoine Verney, Conservateur en Chef des Musées de Bayeux, said: “In the project proposed by RSHP, we immediately appreciated the intelligent dialogue between the volumes of the former 17th-century seminary and the contemporary setting entirely dedicated to the display of the work, characterised by an architectural gesture of pure lines, which has led to the creation of a completely new visitor experience.”
The new museum is due to open in 2027. It is being overseen by the Town of Bayeux, the French state, Normandy Region and the Department of Calvados.