The construction of a protective building that would allow the mosaics – and the remains of the Late Antique residence – to be preserved and displayed was one of the main conclusions to come out of the preliminary study. It should be designed like an umbrella, a lightweight solution, accompanied by an appropriate system for visits and the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the public.
The initial plans revealed just how difficult it was to actually design such a structure. The need for a modern structure, devoid of any kitsch, was clear; however, there were a number of options that required discussion, such as whether all of the various functions of the future museum should be brought together in a single building, the use of restored upper floors of the villa for the future structure, and whether opaque or translucent materials should be used.
To keep costs down, the town of Loupian entrusted Marc Lugand, a local archaeologist, with drawing up the project's functional and economic aspects. The resulting document was given to entrants in an architectural competition, which was won by the team of Stéphane Barbotin and Catherine Frenak. The winning design featured two separate buildings, a visitor entrance located discretely at the edge of the archaeological site, and a protective structure of metal and wood cladding pierced with small holes. Inside, a walkway that rises gradually allows visitors to discover the mosaics.