The new Mémorial de la Catastrophe de 1902, Frank A. Perret Museum
for culture and heritage
A new memorial site under the aegis of the Fondation Clément
With its striking contemporary architecture, the architectural renovation project marks a new chapter in the life of the institution. It aims to bring the museum into the town, with a powerful and sober character in line with its memorial role.
After closing for just five months. it reopened to the public on 8 May 2019. Above all aesthetic criteria, the aim was to use easily-implemented materials and short supply chains. The choice of wood for the façades, replacing the stone damaged during the 1969 renovation, was an obvious one. An easily-available material, it was burned according to the ancestral Japanese technique of shu sugi ban, which makes the wood more resistant to the elements and is used here in a nod to history. The esplanade and its walkway were renovated using simple deactivated concrete, the aggregates of which come from the slopes of Mount Pelée in Saint-Pierre, and the fountain was restored to working order. The simple and elegant volumes of 1969 were retained. A gallery was simply installed on the former access ramp to facilitate entry and movement around the museum. The museum, inspired by the Art Deco movement when it was built in 1933, was newly modern in 1969. Today, the building designed by the architect Olivier Compère is resolutely contemporary, with pure lines and forms, a beautiful black cladding that changes with the time of day, and palette of simple raw materials that once again resonates with and returns the focus to its role as a memorial site. https://www.memorial1902.org/