Lascaux IV

Competition to create an interpretation center for the Lascaux cave

Vue d'artiste du centre d'interprétation Lascaux IV

The Lascaux cave was discovered in 1940. In 1983, Lascaux II was opened to the public. This exact replica of the cave enabled the restoration teams to preserve the original site. It is completed by the Lascaux III project, which provides a travelling exhibition of the cave paintings. In 2012, the General Council of the Dordogne wanted to fit the Lascaux site with a new replica of the cave and an interpretation center the share the history of the cave and knowledge of cave art from around the world, with the Lascaux IV project. The goal of this new cultural equipment is to provide visitors with an authentic emotional experience of discovery, and to provide the public with the tools necessary to appreciate and understand the Lascaux cave and cave art in general.

Le parvis du centre
The forecourt of the Lascaux IV interpretation center © MAP Arquitectos

As part of the MAP Arquitectos - Projectiles group, Reciproque was in charge of designing the audiovisual and multimedia offering for the exhibition space located before the entrance to the replica and at the exit of the adjoining interpretation center. The purpose of the design is to stir up an emotional response from the visitor, to elicit understanding without imposing a prepared statement. Paradigms of self-discovery, revelation and learning are the guiding concepts behind the design for the mediation experiences. The visitor is constantly interacting with the life-sized reconstructed wall.

The mediation plays with shadow and light to reveal the figures in the wall and to unlock the meanings behind the painting. It relies on learning approaches that involve moving, touching and taking action, all essential to understanding the paintings.

With regard to the content, Reciproque created an editorial and graphic charter. Over the course of the competition, Reciproque produced a number of prototypes for the interactive concepts which were incorporated into the project outline and presentation film.