FX Awards 2018 Winners

Global Project

Winner: Lascaux International Centre for Cave Art by Casson Mann

Global Project Winner: Lascaux International Centre for Cave Art by Casson MannImage Credit: Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia, Eric Sole, Dan Courtice

Sponsored by Interface

The International Centre for Cave Art, a new visitor attraction for the Vezere Valley World Heritage Site in south-west France, is no ordinary visitor attraction. Here, Casson Mann designed a series of interpretative galleries set around a new, state-of-the-art facsimile of the palaeolithic painted cave of Lascaux. The real Lascaux cave was closed in 1963, but the facsimile replicates not only the prehistoric art, but the acoustic and environmental conditions. Four further exhibition galleries support and enhance the experience. The building, by architecture practice Snøhetta, is conceived to work in harmony with the contours of the surrounding hills.

Designers were asked to preserve the integrity of the original cave, one of the world’s most important prehistoric treasures. The design challenge was to create a facsimile experience which would yet satisfy visitors’ desire to understand and come close to the original. Says Roger Mann of Casson Mann: ‘It was essential that you didn’t come into a building and the cave was one of the doors down the corridor.’ A meaningful visitor journey, therefore, with a focus on ‘discovery’ was a critical element of the design.

Visitors discover the ‘cave’ by descending at the edge of the forest in the footsteps of the three boys and the dog who made the original discovery in 1940. The full extent of the cave is recreated in minute detail. The most significant interpretative gallery is L’Atelier de Lascaux, with eight membrane-like fragments hang suspended in the space, each one depicting an artwork from the cave. Visitors use personal interactive guides to understand themes such as colour, movement, line and perspective, meaning there is no need for overwhelming text-based information displays.

The judges said...
‘Outstanding design coupled with extraordinary content’

Finalists & Judges’ Comments

Dyson Singapore Technology Centre by Aedas Interiors
‘A crisply detailed interior’

Unilever HQ by Aedas Interiors
‘Sensitive to local influences’

Lotte Food Avenue by CADA Design
‘Standout consumer experience, theatre and navigation’

NOI Techpark by Chapman Taylor
‘A spirited transformation and repurposed former industrial site’

Microsoft Ireland by Gensler
‘Very people-centric, something for everyone’

Rogers Place by HOK
‘An engaging environment’

Sequoia, Washington, D.C., U.S.A by Jeffrey Beers International
‘Striking design and colour palette’

Conde Nast International by MCM Architecture
‘Well thought through and well executed’

Vue Hotel Houhai Beijing by Ministry of Design
‘A promising engagement of architecture and landscape’

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