Location: Palais de Chaillot 1 Place Trocadéro, Paris 16° 20,000 m carré
The special exposition; the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris from builders to restorers; the interactivity of the architectural collections attracts curious youngsters; invites immersion into time travel and exposes ‘virtual reality’ in the expositions.
The museum’s collections offer a wide variety of approaches to architecture and monumental art. The museum holds a significant collection of models relating to medieval and modern heritage. The monumental art collections include casts of sculptures and details of ornamentation from the 11th to the 19th century, as well as reproductions of wall paintings and stained-glass windows from the 11th to the 16th century.
Opened to the public in 1991, ‘Centre d’Archives d’Architecture’ now houses the archives of over 400 architects. Even prior to, yet especially after the 1970s, researchers and architects called for the creation of a ‘major national collection’ in this field. The collection bears witness to the interest in this historical source of patrimony. Initially, collections were confidential before opening to the public.
The architectural collections focus on the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and include drawings, models, photographs and prototypes. In just meters, one can pass the unrealized project of the Arc de Triomphe Fountain of Neptune, respond to the smile of the Ange of Reims, and admire the pinnacle of the Cupola of Cahors. From Chartres to Marseille, from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, one experiences a veritable immersive passage in time to appreciate the beauty and architectural evolution in French architecture.
After the devastating fire of Notre Dame in April of 2019, the massive clean-up and reconstruction began virtually immediately. I believe this determination and urgency aided the French people in advancing more quickly through the grieving process. the objective to restore as soon as possible was taken by the President of the French Republic the very evening of the fire with the intention to reopen to Paris, pilgrims, and visitors worldwide in 2024.
This exposition permits visitors to understand the unprecedented and remarkable undertaking while demonstrating the intrinsic connections between the original Medieval construction, the 19th-century great reconstruction by Viollet-le-Duc and today’s reconstruction. This exposition provides insight via video interviews and explanations to showcase examples of the monumental efforts, complexities, and achievements of the people, the works, techniques and trades involved in the restoration of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.
Additionally, an honourable mention to Thomas Van Houtryve for the solo exposition Notre-Dame: La Renaissance d’une Icon, Parvis de Notre-Dame de Paris, spring 2023 to summer 2024 in which he shows the serious adventure documenting the clean-up mission, which of course was an essential step in the restoration project.
The ancient architectural structures had their own issues of the epoch.
Mediators are present every day to welcome you into the galleries and invite short guided tours to help you discover all the collections.
Virtual meeting room? Crystals and light therapy optimising meeting productivity, perhaps?
In addition to the restoration of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, the ‘Cité de l’Architecture’ celebrates the centenary (1832 -1923) of Gustave Eiffel; as an opportunity to highlight his projects and reveal the legacy left on the landscape of Paris by the illustrious engineer. The Cité offers a stunning view of the 300-metre-high tower; an architectural masterpiece and symbol of the City of Light and of France to the world. Be sure to add the ‘Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine’ to your ‘must visit list’ on your next stay in Paris.