Centre Culturel Jean-Marie Tjibaou

Centre Culturel Jean-Marie Tjibaou

The project for the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center was born with symbolic expectations. The construction of the center was in fact part of the agreements between the Paris government and the local authorities for the independence of New Caledonia. The center is the expression of a centuries-old tradition of relationship with nature, so it was not thought of enclosed in a monumental site but as a set of landscaped villages and squares, full of empty functions and paths. The buildings visually recall the traditional kanak huts thanks to the curved structure, made of strips and wood sticks.

Project data




1991 - 1993


1993 - 1998

Site area

8 ha

Total floor area

7650 m2 ( 10 buildings of three different dimesions: 4 with an area of 63 m2 and a diameter of 8 m, 3 with an area of 95 m2 e and a diameter of 11 m, 3 with an area of 140 m2 and a diameter of 13,5 m)


20 m, 22m, 28 m


1 + variable number of basements


400 seats



Agence pour le Développement de la Culture Kanak


Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects


Competition: A. Bensa (ethnologist); Desvigne & Dalnoky (landscaping); Ove Arup & Partners (structure and ventilation); GEC Ingénierie (cost control), Peutz & Associés (acoustics), Scène (scenography)

Preliminary design: A. Bensa (ethnologist); GEC Ingénierie (cost control); Ove Arup & Partners (structural & MEP engineering concept); CSTB (environmental studies); Agibat MTI (structure); Scène (scenography); Peutz & Associés (acoustics); Qualiconsult (security); Végétude (planting)

Design Development and Construction phase: A. Bensa (ethnologist); Agibat MTI (structure); GEC Ingénierie (MEP engineering and cost control); CSTB (environmental studies); Philippe Délis (exhibit design); Scène (scenography); Peutz & Associés (acoustics); Qualiconsult (security); Végétude (planting); Intégral R. Baur (signing)