The Carré d'Art successfully connects ancient and modern architectures. It also provides a powerful catalyst for reinvigorating the social and physical fabric of a city. The site faces the Maison Carre, a perfectly preserved Roman temple. The challenge was to relate new to the old, but at the same time to create a building that represented its own age with integrity. This building not only contains magazines, newspapers and books, but it is also a gallery for painting and sculpture. It has nine storeys, half of which is sunk into the ground. The lower levels house archive storage and a cinema, while above a roofed courtyard forms the heart of the building, exploiting the transparency and lightness of modern materials to allow natural light to permeate all floors.