The Pavillon de l'Arsenal, opened in 1988, is a unique place where everyone can get acquainted with the architectural achievements of Paris, its present and future. This is not just a museum, but a whole documentary center that uses advanced technologies to store and visualize information about the architecture and urban planning of the French capital. It owes such an interesting name to its location on the site of a former gunpowder manufactory. Each of the three levels of the Arsenal Pavilion building is a separate exhibition.
The entire first floor of the Arsenal Pavilion, which is more than 800 m2 museum square, reserved for a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of Parisian architecture. It not only visualizes the 12 stages of the complete evolution of the city, from a small settlement on the Île de la Cité to a modern metropolis, but also provides a glimpse into the future of Paris.
Thanks to the huge digital layout of the capital, consisting of 48 flat screens, museum visitors can take a virtual walk around the city, inspect the streets, squares and even objects that are only planned to be built by 2020. Created in 2011 with the help of Google and advertising firm JCDecaux, the grandiose layout allows you to see the buildings of the future designed by architects Partique Berger, Jacques Anziutti, Jean Nouvel and Rudy Ricciotti in three dimensions and imagine how they fit into the urban space.
The permanent exhibition also features hundreds of maps, archival documents, photographs and videos that allow tracing all stages of the development of Parisian architecture and understanding the principles taken into account in the construction and architectural planning of Paris. Numerous exhibits demonstrate under the influence of what economic, political, demographic and technical processes the city acquired its modern look.
Themed exhibitions are held on the second floor of the Arsenal Pavilion. Every year, several exhibitions devoted to completely different themes occupy this part of the museum, allowing you to get closer to such architectural sections as Parisian housing, Parisian mansions, Paris of Baron Haussmann, ecological architecture and many other topics.
One of the latest thematic exhibitions of the Arsenal Pavilion focused on modular buildings. The 60 square meter structure, installed on the second floor of the museum, introduces the possibilities of alternative solutions in the construction of houses, depending on the individual needs of their owners.
The unusual exposition also demonstrates to the visitors the simplicity of the modular building system, its convenience and efficiency in conquering modern urban space.
Exhibitions of contemporary French and foreign architecture
The galleries on the third floor of the museum usually house the competition projects of French and foreign architects. This year, the Arsenal Pavilion is hosting an international competition, which features more than 300 works in the field of urban innovation. Among the participants in the competition are not only architects, but also landscape designers, anthropologists, engineers, power engineers, farmers, chefs, artists, philosophers and ordinary residents - all those who wanted to share their vision of the urban future.
The incredible number of proposals embodied in the projects of the contestants amazes with their courage and originality, so the organizers plan to simultaneously publish a book that unites all the ideas.
In addition to expositions, the museum has a specialized documentation center, an extensive music library and a bookstore with a large selection of specialized and amateur literature on architecture. The Arsenal Pavilion regularly holds lectures, conferences and seminars, organizes excursions outside its walls and publishes books.
For those who are really "sick" of Paris and are carried away by its beauty, it is useful to start their acquaintance with the city from the Arsenal Pavilion. The museum will help to trace the history of the development of Parisian architecture, present the general trends of its development and look into the future of the French capital.
Address: 21, boulevard Morland, Paris 75004
Phone: + 33 1 42 76 33 97
Metro: Sully - Morland
Opening hours: 10: 30-18: 30 from Tuesday to Saturday; 11: 00-19: 00 - Sunday
- Adult: free