Norman Foster to attend opening this weekend in Narbonne, France

Foster & Partners’ recently completed museum of Roman antiquities in Narbonne, France, is set to open this weekend.

The building, known as Narbo Via, will be inaugurated on Saturday in the presence of Norman Foster and Carole Delga, the president of the Occitanie region.

It houses galleries for Narbonne’s collection of ancient artefacts, which date back to when the city was the Roman port town of Narbo.

The centrepiece of the museum is a “lapidary wall”, which forms a boundary at the heart of the museum.

The museum’s public galleries and private restoration spaces will be separated by this central wall, through which visitors can glimpse the work of the archaeologists and researchers.

Foster said: “The arts are vital to the life of a city and a cultural building has the potential to reinvent and regenerate its ‘sense of place’, to break down physical and social barriers. 

“Bringing together the old and the new, Narbo Via will renew the image of the museum, becoming not just a place for reflection but a creator of knowledge for future generations.”

The scheme also includes a multimedia education centre, auditorium, restaurant and bookshop, facilities for research, restoration and storage, and an amphitheatre set in formal gardens for outdoor performances.