Deep in the heart of the Dordogne river valley, in the foothills of Montignac lies the Lascaux cave complex with its unique treasure trove of Paleolithic cave art. Discovered in 1940 by 3 boys chasing their runaway dog, the 2000 paintings within caused an international sensation that attracted visitors from every part of the world. In 1963 the paintings were so compromised by environmental exposure that the caves were permanently closed to the public.

Today, a new ambitious “Lascaux IV” is planned to re-establish this extraordinary world heritage site. After an international competition that attracted 88 entries, a team comprising of architects Snøhetta and Duncan Lewis and exhibition designers Casson Mann won the prestigious commission to create the new visitor center.

Speaking about the winning submission, Jury member Bernard Cazeau, Président du Conseil Général de la Dordogne, said: “from the point of view of the scenography – which was, in our eyes an essential factor – it’s the most successful project.”

With a budget of €50 million, the scenographic and architectural concepts combine to offer a thoughtful reflection of the sublime landscape, with the visitor ascending and descending, inside and outside, through light and dark, in a dramatic, inspirational and unforgettable journey of discovery.

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