This program is emblematic for the city of Autun. It is a witness of exceptional local history. Our project proposes volumes that are inserted discretely in the site and reveal its historic composition. The museum is composed of different buildings, each of which presents historic pieces dating back to the important Gallo-Roman past of the city. The Lacomme Hotel, dating back to 1413, Rolin Hotel and tour des Bancs (1445) are joined by the Palais de Justice in 1700 and its historic panoptical central prison in 1854. The project creates connections between the different entities through a buried level, permitting an autonomy of visiting routes and phases.
This piranesian space acts as an articulation in the site, with its volumetric and topographical complexities. The integrity of each building is preserved while the different courtyards are freed from parasites. An exterior promenade becomes possible for visitors, offering unprecedented views on the facade revealed at the heart of the complex urban fabric.
An extension on the top level completes the prison, offering a panoramic view on the entire city and the region. In the exhibition space, visitors are given the keys to understand the context and its rich history. This new construction acts as a signal in the city. Its bronze stainless steel cladding is a call back to both the neighboring tile roofs and the local artisanal history. The intervention is reversible. It is placed delicately on the prison volume without altering its architectural integrity.

Restructuring and expanding of the City of Autun Rolin Museum
Rue des Bancs, Autun (71)
h2o architectes (lead architect) with Eugène Architectes Patrimoine (preservation architect), Atelier FCS (scénography), Ateliers de l’éclairage (lighting design), Bastien Morin (graphic design), Mosquito (multimedia), P.E.Nyeborg (preventive conservation), Edeis (engineering), Peutz (acoustic)
Ville d’Autun
Historical Listed building
19 000 000 € HT
4 650 m²
Competition December 2019