Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) won out against five other shortlisted architectual firms in an international design competition for the new Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France. BIG was selected by a jury, headed by Montpellier’s Mayor Hélène Mandroux, because of the firm's innovative and environmentally friendly designs.
Montpellier is home to one of France’s top medical institutions, the University of Montpellier I, and the city’s history is rooted in humanist and medicine traditions, which date back to the 10th century. In continuing that tradition, the Museum of the Human Body plans to investigate the human body through a variety of lenses—scientific, artistic, and socio-cultural—by hosting workshops and performances, putting up interactive exhibitions, and setting up community events.
BIG will begin construction in 2016, and the project should be completed by 2018, and will be approximately 84,000 square feet of graceful sweeping architecture, designed to resemble a fingerprint. The building itself is intended to elegantly mesh with its natural surroundings. The walls of the exterior are largely transparent, allowing natural light to illuminate the exhibitions within. Additionally, the roof of the museum hosts an ergonomic garden where visitors can find abundant forms of plant and mineral life. The garden is open to visitors who wish to lounge, exercise, and contemplate as ways to investigate their bodies.