Revealed: Paris's historic Grand Palais set for major transformation

The French government has unveiled an ambitious plan to renovate Paris’s landmark Grand Palais and create a cultural boulevard linking the historic site with the Champs Elysees and the River Seine.

First built for the Exposition Universelle world fair in 1900, the giant glass vault of the Palais had a strong impact on the country’s Art Nouveau movement and has become one of the French capital’s best-known icons, as well as home to the Palace of Discoveries science museum and a host of smaller galleries.

The building, however, has not been restored since opening, despite years of attempts to get the project off the ground. That has finally changed, with French culture minister Françoise Nyssen announcing that nearly €500m (US$623m, £444m) will be spent to transform Grand Palais into “a true alliance of arts, sciences and culture.”

The restoration is being overseen by François Chatillon, the chief architect of historical monuments, in collaboration with Benoit Jallon and Umberto Napolitano from design studio LAN.

They will project manage the careful restoration of the Palais and the insertion of a new museum of arts and sciences for children, and design a light-filled pedestrian street to be driven through the complex. The latter will link the building’s various amenities with its main exhibition building via a central concourse.

“The new Grand Palais must embody the France of the 21st century,” said Nyssen. “There is a lot of our country in this building. There is a lot of our country, too, in the choice to carry out these works.

"This choice says something about our relationship to history: our attention to heritage, the legacy we are left with. It says something about our relationship to the world, since this restoration will attract visitors from five continents.

"It also says something about our relationship to art, for which we reserve a space of exception in the heart of the capital.”

The monument will close its doors to the public from 2020, allowing construction to begin, before gradually reopening from 2023.

It will be fully ready by 2024, in time for the Paris Olympic Games, for which it will host the taekwondo and fencing events. Nyssen said the restored venue will also be used for art fairs, parades and institutional summits, attracting as many as four million tourists per year.

The government has committed €128m over five years for the restoration, and is committing a further €160m under its Major Investment Plan for other aspects of the scheme. The Réunion des Musées Nationaux – a cultural umbrella organisation formed by the Paris National Museums and the Grand Palais – will also take out a loan of €150m, while French fashion house Chanel is also known to be donating funds.

This is the latest in a string of major renovation projects announced for Paris in recent years.

Les Halles, once a deeply unpopular concrete shopping complex, was transformed in 2016, with architects Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti adding an enormous umbrella-like glass roof, comprising 18,000 pieces of glass supported by 7,000 tonnes of steel.

Meanwhile, Tadao Ando is currently converting the historic Bourse de la Commerce building into a new contemporary art museum for the collection of billionaire businessman François Pinault; while Frank Gehry is creating a museum celebrating French art, aesthetics and urbanity by extensively renovating the former home of the National Museum of Folk Arts and Traditions.

Finally, one of Paris’s most controversial buildings, the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper, is set to undergo a green-tinged transformation, with three architecture studios joining forces to completely overhaul the exterior.

Paris  Grand Palais  François Chatillon  Benoit Jallon  Umberto Napolitano  France   
Related stories

Design trio to transform Paris' most controversial building

Tadao Ando reveals vision for cylindrical art museum in Paris' historic Bourse de la Commerce

Frank Gehry and billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault collaborate for new Paris museum

€1bn Les Halles revamp unveiled in Paris with sweeping golden roof canopy

The French government has unveiled an ambitious plan to renovate Paris’s landmark Grand Palais and create a cultural boulevard linking the historic site with the Champs Elysees and the River Seine. First built for the Exposition Universelle world fair in 1900, the giant glass vault of the Palais had a strong impact on the country’s Art Nouveau movement and has become one of the French capital’s best-known icons, as well
CLD,VAT,AAC,ARC,DES
First built for the Exposition Universelle world fair in 1900, the giant glass vault of the Palais had a strong impact on the country’s Art Nouveau movement  / LAN
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: DJW
DJW offer a way to interpret your story through the use of technology. We can provide Audio Visual consultancy to assist in the planning stage, follow up with AV system design, supply and installation, and provide a bespoke control system to suit your operational needs.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Musée de la Romanité
French-Brazilian architect Elizabeth de Portzamparc designed the museum
"This museum is the smallest public facility I’ve worked on, but the most symbolic"

On her futuristic new museum

Mirrors gave the impression that the maze was larger than it actually was
Martha Schwartz
"No one is taking the issue of climate change seriously. Some bad things will have to happen before there is a change"

The outspoken landscape architect on climate change, bagels and being controversial

The tower features a ‘pixelated’ exterior and a series of dramatic cantilevering terraces
According to Ole Scheeren, the best buildings are the ones that tell us stories
"Economic value can be achieved by a sense of generosity towards the public domain"

The architect behind Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters and the Taipei Performing Arts Center talks form, fiction and fantasy with Kim Megson

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The report authors Ophelia Yeung (left) and Katherine Johnston
"Wellness real estate makes up about 1.5% of the total annual global construction market"

Research by the Global Wellness Institute valued wellness real estate at US$134bn in 2017 and growing. The research authors outline the implications

Stacks of cement roof tiles make up the walls of the structure
Mexican architect Frida Escobedo runs a practice in Mexico City
"I hope visitors will find a space in which the passage of time feels a bit hazy — fun yet meditative"

Creating the Serpentine Pavilion

features
Dublin-born David Collins moved to London in the 1980s and founded David Collins Studio in 1985
"The Studio is such a big part of our lives, that it just continued, albeit through a very challenging period"

David Collins was behind the design of many of London’s hottest destinations Today his legacy lives on via the studio’s glamorous international projects

Perkins+Will are working on a major expansion of Detroit’s Motown Museum
Gabrielle Bullock studied architecture and fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design
"I’m one of 424 black female licensed architects in the US. We represent 0.2 per cent of the profession"

Architects must reflect the world they design for, says Perkins+Will’s director of global diversity

cladkit product news
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
cladkit product news
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
cladkit product news
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates