Jean-Marie-Tjibaou Cultural Center, view from the sea. Photo by John Gollings
The centre was financed by the French Government and was built in memory of the New Caledonian political leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou, who was assassinated in 1989.
According to the architect, Renzo Piano, “the major challenge behind this project was the task of paying homage to a culture while also respecting its traditions and history, past, present and future, as well as its sensitivities. This meant putting European technology and expertise at the service of the traditions and expectations of the Kanak.”
“The centre is composed of 10 ‘houses’, all of different sizes and with different functions intended as a celebration of Kanak culture… It is a genuine village, with its own paths, greenery, and public spaces, located outside and in direct contact with the ocean.”
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre architectural plans by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Aerial view of the “huts” shows contrast between cases cresting rise from sea snd flat-roofed parts on gentle slope to lagoon. Photo by John Gollings.
Cases of Village 1 seen from the lagoon. Photo by John Gollings.
Inside the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, a multi-media library of Kanak Culture. Photo by John Gollings.
Note the detail of the texture - the slats were assembled into independent panels that were then fixed to the outer ribs of the village hut structure.
The centre is a 20-minute drive outside of Noumea.
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre
Purpose: Centre for Kanak culture: including permanent and temporary exhibitions, a multi‑media library, interior and exterior performance spaces and thematic landscape.
Architect: Renzo Piano Workshop
Cost: 200 millions French Francs (AU$55.5 million)
Dimensions of the 10 houses:
size: small medium large
number : 4 3 3
diameter: 9m 11m 135 m
surface area: 63 m2 95 m2 140 m2
height: 20 m 22 m 28 m
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