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Mr. Hulots Visit - Interpretation Center of Romanesque

Building Pictures, spaceworkers

A character from Jacques Tati’s films appears inside a new museum designed by Spaceworkers.


For the Interpretation Centre of Romanesque by Spaceworkers, Building Pictures pays homage to a very much loved character from the architecture-infused films by Jacques Tati, Mr. Hulot. Tati's character here is called to explore a new museum in Lousada (Porto, Portugal): we spot his unmistakable trench-hat-and-pipe just outside the exhibition space and we are urged to follow him in visiting the museum.

Looking a little bit lost, Mr. Hulot is a curious guide to the viewer: roaming from room to room, he let us indulge in the minimal concrete architecture of Centre - a place where "history is made" (or rather "is put on display") as we read on the entrance door.

Spaceworkers intended their building to be a transitional element between the present and the distant Romanesque past. As they wrote, "in an austere way, the volumetry proposed contains the principles of unity within diversity, appearing under the form of several volumes with different heights and dimensions, demonstrating the diversity that Romanesque buildings have left us".

The central "road", as we can call it, is the central unifying element, the point from which all the different ramifications and experiences springs: this central body, besides establishing a connection between these elements, also brings back the idea of the cloister of Medieval Age - a space flooded with light (it has a glass ceiling, as we can see from the second part of the short video), connecting different spaces and, thus, times.

The different rooms, all equipped with a specific body of exhibition, are accessed from here. However, the building has an overall contemporary feeling - which is enhanced by the decision not to arrange the rooms in a strict chronological sense, but to be roamed freely.

So Mr. Hulot responds to this order, jumping from room to room, exploring the space on behalf of the viewer: the playfulness of the video and the recognizability of the protagonist helps the center become more attractive, more appealing to the potential visitor.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Mentioned project: Information Centre of the Romanesque Route (2012)
Project location: Lousada, Porto, Portugal
Direction and production: Sara Nunes
Camera: Sara Nunes
Post-production: Sara Nunes
Sound design: Ana Pedro
Music: Bruno Ferreira
Mr. Hulot: Francisco Relvas
Child: Fausto

Portugal 2019
Duration: 3'02"