Adrien Gardère

© David Chipperfield Architects

© David Chipperfield Architects

I have just been to a lecture in the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre at the Courtauld Institute in which Adrien Gardère, the French museum designer (or museographer) explained his approach to display.   Trained as a product designer, he started off designing lamps for Artemide.   He then somehow won the contract to redisplay the whole of the great Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, a project which was completed just before the revolution, with grey paint specified by the Minister of Culture, and was recently catastrophically blown up by a car bomb outside.   He did the displays for the new Louvre in Lens, a cool, cerebral project by SANAA with aluminium walls in which the antiquities, objects and works of art are placed on a conceptual time line.   He entered the competition for the Museum of Roman Antiquities in Narbonne jointly with Norman Foster, where together they are creating a display in which objects remain movable by a fork lift truck.   Most recently, he has worked on the design of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.   He did not mention that he has been working on a radical redisplay of the collection across the site at the RA. In all his projects, his approach drives at intellectual and visual lucidity with a minimum of superfluous interpretation.

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