The buildings that house The Collection Lambert, placed at its disposal by the City of Avignon, have an exceptionally rich heritage. Two beautiful mansions, the Hôtel de Caumont and Hôtel de Montfaucon, built in the 18th century by Jean-Baptiste Franque, have been remarkably renovated by Rudy Ricciotti and the brothers Cyrille and Laurent Berger respectively to meet the needs of the museum.
Throughout the year, the Hôtel de Caumont presents a selection of the permanent collection, focusing on certain movements or artists. The works on display are regularly changed. The stairway in the entrance area, a registered historic monument, leads visitors to the large gallery which is transformed for each exhibition. Since 2000 the attic has been the site of Claude Lévêque’s immersive work. On the ground floor, the series of linked galleries are bathed in natural light and the room with arched openings faces the beautiful courtyard with its two regal plane trees. Directly adjacent to the exhibition spaces, there are two workshops for artistic creation and classes. Since the museum opened, artists have drawn inspiration from the Hôtel de Caumont and have created permanent works in the space. Some are immediately visible (Miroslaw Balka’s poetic installation, the statements of Lawrence Weiner, Jenny Holzer’s diode, Claude Lévêque’s other world, the words of Robert Barry, two Wall Drawings by Sol LeWitt, etc.), while others are more subtle (the totem animals and the celestial pathway of Koo Jeong-a, Niele Toroni’s imprints of paintbrushes, the door by Giulio Paolini, etc.).
Since 2015, the temporary exhibitions, shining new light on the production of renowned artists or featuring younger artists selected from the international art scene, are presented on the three floors of the Hôtel de Montfaucon and changed twice a year.
This historic mansion, renovated by the architects Berger&Berger, offers three levels and multiple “landscapes” made up of white surfaces, light and volumes. The atrium, a sculptural, highly contemporary space with its minimalist staircase and its large zenithal oculus, was created as the point of connection between the two 18th century mansions. The building consists of a series of linked galleries, some of which follow the “white cube” model. There is also a room with a 5.5-meter (18-foott) cathedral ceiling, a 400-m2 (4300-ft2) L-shaped gallery, and a courtyard designed as an open-air exhibition space.
The auditorium, painted entirely in ocean blue, seats 150 people and each week provides a venue for lectures, gatherings, projections, performances, concerts, events around authors, poets, architects, and filmmakers, and interviews with the artists whose works are shown in the museum.
The bookshop, a vast space designed by the architects Berger&Berger, welcomes visitors with its high glass walls and friendly ambience. An extensive selection of books on contemporary art is available along with artist’s multiples and exhibition-related items.
Laurent P. Berger, a visual artist and graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), and Cyrille Berger, a registered architect (DPLG) and graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette, have been working together since 2006 under the name Berger&Berger.