Located in the Belle de Mai neighbourhood, the Centre de Conservation et de Ressources (CCR) today houses all of the collections conserved by the MuCEM. These collections can be viewed by both specialists and members of the general public.
Although the architecture of the building designed by Corinne Vezzoni evokes mystery and opacity, the Centre de Conservation et de Ressources (CCR) is in reality characterised by a policy of transparency and openness.
Indeed, the CCR is responsible not only for the conservation of all of the collections, but also, more unusually, for ensuring that they are accessible to others.
The CCR thus follows the directives concerning the conservation of public collections as set out in the Code du Patrimoine, while following a mission to disseminate, make available and return this heritage to the public. This dual task – which distinguishes it from other conservation centres – forms the basis for the CCR’s activities.
The conservation and management of the collections
‘A million objects in more that 7,000 m2 of storerooms’
In this building of 13,000 m2, the MuCEM’s collections are scattered across 7,000 m2 of modern storerooms, on three levels, which conform to the norms for preventive conservation (temperature and humidity).
The CCR is the place where the everyday study of the collections is carried out, first through the work of the MuCEM’s scientific teams, then by welcoming researchers, students and the general public, for whom there are study and research spaces (1,400 m2).
It is also where restoration of the collections is carried out (with several workshops that can receive outside restorers) and where all the museum’s new acquisitions come when they arrive.
Making the collections accessible
‘The entire collections can be consulted by the general public, upon request’
In addition to its missions linked to the conservation and enrichment of the collections, the CCR is dedicated to disseminating the collections and making them accessible. Indeed, all of the collections (objects and documents) can be consulted, upon request, in one of the rooms designed for this purpose.
The CCR also has two spaces dedicated specifically to the aim of disseminating the collections:
– A small room for temporary exhibitions (110 m2) is where external curators can be given carte blanche to give a fresh perspective on the collections.
– A storeroom, the ‘appartement témoin’ (800 m2), was specially designed to receive the general public, who can get an idea of the variety of the collections and the techniques used to conserve them.
Finally, the CCR makes it possible to implement a policy of short-term and long-term loans to partner museums in France and abroad, the MuCEM being one of the French museums that loans the most works.
Behind the scenes at the MuCEM
‘This large concrete monolith was inspired by the work of the Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida’
Completed in 2012, the MuCEM’s Centre de Conservation et de Ressources (CCR) was built on a former military site (the Muy barracks) covering around 1.2 hectares, which affords the possibility, if required, of extending the storerooms.
Echoing the neighbouring industrial edifices, the building designed by Corinne Vezzoni (in association with André Jollivet) has been inserted in a radical and compact way into the site. This large concrete monolith was inspired by the work of the Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida.
The storage part of the CCR has 117 rooms spread across three levels, with objects classified according to dimensions and materials, and in keeping with the specific requirements of conservation. It includes different spaces for dealing with and treating objects and various workshops where the collections can be worked on, as well as several laboratories that permit in situ restoration work. In order for the collections to be accessible to the public, the spaces permitting the dissemination of the collections (study rooms, display rooms and the ‘appartement témoin’) are grouped together on the same level (ground floor).