Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris
The Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris is the world’s largest museum exclusively dedicated to architecture and building design.
The Palais de Chaillot, the home of the “Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine”. Photo Fred Romero.
Opened in 2007, the museum is housed in the Palais de Chaillot, a two-wing palace built for the Paris 1937 World’s Fair after a design by architects Léon Azéma, Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, and Jacques Carlu. The origins of the museum trace back to 1882, when famous architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc founded the Musée des monuments français (Museum of French Monuments) and collected a large number of architectural elements, aimed to present the history of French architecture, which then formed the core of the collection of the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.
Occupying a floor area of 22,000 square meters / 237,000 square feet, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine presents a permanent exhibition focused on French and International architecture from the 12th century to the present day, mainly based on the large collection of the institution. The exhibition is divided into two main galleries: the Museum of French Monuments, and the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Architecture.
The Museum of French Monuments depicts the history of architecture from the Middle Ages to the 19th century through a large number of architectural decorations – either original or 1:1 scale replicas -, stained glass windows, building models, drawings, and historical documents.
The Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Architecture features models, drawings, blueprints, photographs, and videos; from Gustave Eiffel to Jean Nouvel, it depicts the evolution of French architecture by presenting about 100 seminal buildings, built from 1850 to the present. The gallery also includes a real-scale replica of one of the unité d’habitation residential units of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse in Marseille.
The program of events and activities of the Cité includes temporary exhibitions, film screenings, conferences, talks, lectures, educational programs, and special events.
The museum’s building also contains an auditorium, a 44,000-volume specialized library, a media/video library, and a seafood restaurant. The Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is fully accessible to physically-impaired people.
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, views of the “Musée des monuments français” gallery featuring the collection of monuments and architectural decorations which, founded by Viollet le Duc in 1882, constituted the original nucleus of the museum’s collections. Photos Corinne Moncelli.
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, an 1882 real-scale replica of the 12th-century portal of the Saint Lazare Cathedral in Autun. Photo Marc Schlemmer.
A view of the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Architecture; photo © Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris.
Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine; the temporary exhibition space on the basement level. Photos Jean Pierre Dalbéra.
Cover image, the Palais de Chaillot in Place du Trocadéro, Paris; the Citè de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is housed in the wing on the right; photo by CpaKmoi.
How our readers rate this museum (you can vote)
More in Paris
copyright Inexhibit 2022 - ISSN: 2283-5474