The City of Architecture and Heritage (French: Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine) is a museum of architecture and monumental sculpture located in the Palais de Chaillot (Trocadéro), in Paris, France. Its permanent collection is also known as Musée des Monuments Français (Museum of French Monuments). It was first established in 1879 by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The museum has been renovated in 2007 and covers 9,000 square meters of gallery space. Alongside temporary exhibitions, it is made of three permanent exhibits.
The heritage Cité de l’architecture arises from the initial merger of three institutions, according to its statutes from the decree n o 2004-683 of 9 July 2004, codified in Articles R. 142-1 and following of the heritage code:
The Museum of French Monuments, whose origin goes back to the museum of comparative sculpture created in 1879 by Viollet-le-Duc. It brings together the collections of models, but also moldings, murals and stained glass reproducing life-size masterpieces of French heritage history since the 21th century;
The School of Chaillot, which forms, since 1887, the practitioners destined for the competitions and careers of chief architect of the historical monuments (ACMH), then architect of the buildings of France (ABF), today “urban architect of the State “(AUE, Heritage option), as well as French and foreign heritage architects who obtain the diploma of specialization and deepening (DSA) in” architecture and heritage “;
The French Institute of Architecture (IFA), created in 1981 to promote the French contemporary architecture and keep the archives of architects.
In 2016, the Cité was reorganized into five departments. It includes a large specialized library, temporary exhibition spaces, a collection of casts and works of art, an archive center, an auditorium-cinema room, educational workshops, a restaurant and a bookshop.
The prefiguration of the City of Architecture was made in 1998 by Jean-Louis Cohen. François de Mazières was, in 2004, in charge of the presidency of this new entity. After redevelopment of buildings by Jean-François Bodin, the city was inaugurated on 17 September 2007. In October 2009, François de Mazières is reappointed to chair the public establishment of the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. Since late 2012, the presidency has been entrusted to Guy Amsellem.
For its operation, the Cité de l’Architecture integrates financial resources also from private partners, including three since its founding: Bouygues Immobilier (property development), Groupe Moniteur (specialized press), Vitra (furniture).
In September 2014, CAPA was the subject of an in-depth audit, as well as a report by the Court of Auditors.
François de Mazières will serve two successive terms at the head of the establishment. Appointed for a first term of 5 years by decree 11 of the President of the Republic in July 2004 and renewed, in October 2009, by decree of the Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand. He chose in June 2012 to resign, following his election to the deputation. Guy Amsellem succeeded him between November 2012 and October 2017. Marie-Christine Labourdette has been at the head of the institution since March 1, 2018.
The Museum of French Monuments
The City of Architecture and Heritage is today a key player in the diffusion of architectural culture, whether to transmit knowledge, support architectural quality, contribute to the protection of the outstanding elements of architecture. our built heritage, or to help with creativity and innovation. This polyhedral place wants to think and awaken the critical spirit, in order to make citizens actors of the architectural and urban fact for the future.
The museum responds largely to these missions, being the reference point on the art of building and its stakes. It is a means of raising awareness of architecture and heritage, which is aimed at didactics to all audiences, whether they are looking for an initiation or a professional or scientific deepening. The museum offers a narrative of the history of architecture, from the Middle Ages to the present day: how are the major buildings of our time and the past built? Why and for whom were they built?
The visitor will find a global apprehension of the architecture, at the scale of the city and the development of the territories and a differentiated approach, by deepening some masterpieces or by transversal narratives on the dwelling, the buildings public, the techniques, the actors of the architecture or the urbanism.
The Museum of French Monuments reminds us that architecture and heritage are everyone’s business: architecture helps to understand the organization and aspirations of a society over time, and must take into account the challenges we are confronted today: demographic pressure, growth of cities, evolution of the family and its impacts on housing, environmental pressures linked to climate change, creation of cities and sustainable development… The built heritage, that of the historical monuments or of historical interest, is inseparable from the architectural creation, carrier of social cohesion and sharing, it touches all citizens, who can discover the jewels, from the oldest to the most recent, as well as all the problems of their restoration,at the Museum of French Monuments.
The collection of the City of Architecture and Heritage includes more than 7000 architectural casts, presented in particular in the “gallery of casts” created in 1879, 350 reproductions of murals, more than 300 old and modern models, filed in particular by the research center of the media library of the architecture and the inheritance, as well as its material library hosted by the School of Chaillot to serve as educational support to its students 14, 4000 graphic works and more than 450 funds of architects’ archives (Hennebique, Perret, Sauvage,Aillaud, Arretche, Andrault and Parat, Candilis, Carlu, Balladur, Bonnier, Dubuisson, Fainsilber, Gillet, Laprade, Lods, Lurcat, Moreux, Patout, Parent, Pingusson, Prost, Riboulet, Subes, Süe, Zehrfuss…) including hundreds of thousands of plans and photographs and 600 additional models. These funds, held at the Center for the architecture archive xx th century, annex of the city located at 127 rue de Tolbiac in the 13 th arrondissement, are available on the basis Archiwebture.
The museum’s collections are divided into three galleries:
on the ground floor, the gallery of castings exhibits more than 350 plaster castings up to 10 meters high and 60 models;
on the first floor, the gallery of modern and contemporary architecture, presents a large part of its background of 300 models and about 900 drawings, as well as life-size architectural elements including a typical apartment of the housing unit of Marseille of Le Corbusier;
on the last two levels of the museum, the gallery of murals and stained glass, includes 36 scale copies of 3-dimensional murals, 48 reproductions of flat paintings, 6 stained-glass windows and 30 models.
From the Middle Ages to the 19th century
The gallery of castings and the gallery of murals and stained glass windows offer two complementary views on the architecture and monumental decoration painted and carved, from the Romanesque period (twelfth century) to modern times (seventeenth-nineteenth centuries). Browse the two historic galleries of the museum is a great journey through time, to discover the monuments, the most famous civil and religious buildings in the hexagon. It is also a step into the social and cultural history of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and modern, meeting sponsors, architects and architects, craftsmen and artists who have presided over architectural creations the most daring.
Greatness, prodigality and immersion are the key words of this tour of France like no other.
With more than three hundred and fifty plaster castings (sometimes more than 10 meters high!) And sixty architectural models, the castings gallery traces more than six centuries of architectural innovation and evolution of the monumental carved decoration. The churches of Moissac, Conques or Vézelay, the cathedrals of Paris, Reims or Strasbourg, the triumphal arch of the Place de l’Étoile in Paris or the Gros-Horloge arch in Rouen… all are represented by real-life castings of their finest sculptures, fragments of architecture and ornamentation. The plaster sculptures interact with each other, inviting stylistic comparison and the satisfaction of the eye. They reveal themselves in what they have most admirable, highlighted by the exceptional architecture that serves as a showcase.
The gallery of murals and stained glass is displayed on the last two levels of the museum. The journey is chronological; he follows the evolution of painted decoration, from the Romanesque period to the Renaissance. Thirty-six scale-one murals are available for contemplation and public understanding, in architectural volumes similar to those of the original works. The vault of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, the crypt of Tavant or the dome of Cahors are among the masterpieces of these paintings called “by volume”, to which are added thirty models, forty-eight copies of paintings planes and six stained glass reproductions.
The details of architecture, sculptures and paintings which, in the buildings themselves, often escape from view, are, thanks to this extraordinary museum, accessible to all. While the original sculptures and paintings may have been altered by time and men, the museum’s collections present a state often prior to these degradations. Invested in an invaluable archaeological value, they bring today a renewed look at the original works they reproduce.
From the Industrial Revolution to the present day
Inaugurated in 2007, the gallery of modern and contemporary architecture presents some one hundred pioneer buildings in the history of architecture in France from 1850 to the present day through a unique set of models, elements to size, photographs, films archives and printed matter. From Gustave Eiffel to Jean Nouvel, the thematic tour offers a glimpse of the milestones that have led to new ways of thinking and doing architecture.
In the XIX th and XX th centuries, the development of modern societies and industrial powers is accompanied by deep transformations of architectural production. On display in the gallery are the responses of architects, engineers and urban planners to the changes in French society: demographic and housing trends, economic crises, reconstruction and urbanization, growth and industry, paid holidays and holiday resorts, cultural democratization and places of memory. backdrop of a history of building at the foundation of our modern world.
The monumental model of the Crystal Palace under construction, the planks of the Paris Opera, the map of the Paris Haussmann, photographs of CNIT construction site, the reconstruction of a flat of the housing unit from Marseille or the model of Jean Nouvel’s Tower without end, allow everyone to learn to see and understand architecture. The permanent exhibition tells the story of the actors and buildings that revolutionized the art of building and gave birth to modern architecture. Industrialization is at the heart of this process: the development of new materials such as iron and concrete, and the development of innovative construction processes favor technical prowess and new forms. Skyscrapers, large halls, concrete sails and glass walls, airports and train stations,
20th Century Architecture Archives
The architectural archives are an essential element for the writing of the history of architecture, for the renewal of architectural and urban approaches, for the teaching of architecture. Since the 1980s, the Center d’archives d’architecture du XXe siècle, created by the French Institute of Architecture, has played the leading role in their support by the State.
The Center of the twentieth architecture archive th century is located in Paris in the 13 th district. It is the main archival center of architecture in France. It collects archives of architects, planners, engineers or designers French assets since the end of the XIX th century. The funds it gathers are for the most part, legally, State deposits (Ministry of Culture); some are depots of the Academy of Architecture or the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.
The architectural archives Center preserves about 400 representative archives many periods and trends in French architecture of the XX th century, as examples, the archives of the pioneers of reinforced concrete (Hennebique, Auguste Perret), of Art Deco architects (Louis Bonnier, Henri Sauvage, Jean-Charles Moreux) or representatives of the Modern Movement (André Lurcat, Georges-Henri Pingusson), major players in the equipment of post-war France (Georges Candilis, Emile Aillaud, Bernard Zehrfuss, Jean Dubuisson, Guillaume Gillet, Louis Arretche), representatives mutations of architecture at the end of XX th century (Adrien Fainsilber, Bernard Huet) of singular figures (Roger Le Flanchec, André Bruyère).
The archives include hundreds of thousands of plans, drawings, photographs, models (about 700), written project files and countless personal documents, about 7 linear km.
The presentation of the fonds, the biographies of the architects as well as the illustrated inventories can be consulted online in the ArchiWebture database.
Documents from these archives are regularly presented at the museum and in the exhibitions of the City of Architecture and Heritage. Virtual exhibitions show selections of archival documents enriched with complements (films, interviews, presentations).
The collection of the 20th century Architecture Archive Center of the City of Architecture and Heritage was constituted in three stages by three institutions.
The National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts has collected the archives of the main “pioneers of reinforced concrete” French, from the archives of Perret brothers acquired in 1959.
The Academy of Architecture brought together elements from the archives of its members, especially in the 1980s, and often retrospectively; Regarding the XX th century was deposited in the Archives of architecture Center while the oldest part is still preserved by the Academy of Architecture.
As part of an agreement with the Archives de France, the French Institute of Architecture (and then the City of Architecture and Heritage) has collected the most funds in the collection, from 1981.
The Architecture Archive Center opened to the public in 1991 and now houses the archives of more than 400 architects. The collection testifies, for its part, of the first confidential and public interest for this historical source before and especially after the 1970s, when researchers and architects called for the constitution of a large national collection in this field.
It is the main collection of entire archives in France, to cross with many funds kept in the National Archives, in Departmental Archives and Municipal Archives, and with sets of drawings, photos and models (Center Pompidou collections MNAM / CCI, FRAC Center, Musée d’Orsay, etc.).
Besides the Center of architecture archive 20th century, the city architecture includes a library of 43,500 books, 414 magazines, documentary films and electronic documents with 100 places over 1300 m2, and offers several online portals. Its vaulted ceiling reproduces in real size the Romanesque frescoes of the nave of the abbey of Saint – Savin – sur – Gartempe.
A Moniteur bookshop and boutique is also located in the lobby, with a dining area that offers views of the Eiffel Tower.
Since its opening in 2007, the city offers an ambitious program by proposing numerous exhibitions, symposia, conferences, debates, cycles (like “Focus”, on a thematic basis or “Duos and debates”, in the presence of architects), Professional study days, particularly on the preservation of historic monuments, public courses on architecture, film sessions, educational activities, in dedicated premises including a 277-seat auditorium, which was the former hall of the Cinémathèque française.
The Cité de l’architecture thus hosts the Albums of Young Architects and Landscape Architects and the Palmarès public, presenting architectural news from public competitions, the Housing Laboratory, the Rendez-vous critiques, the Rendez-vous metropolitans, Rendez-vous design and light, etc. or the Entretiens de Chaillot, a monthly conference of an architect, town planner or landscaper from France or abroad. She is at the origin of the creation of the Observatory of the city, which aims to “bring to the many actors of this sector (inhabitants, promoters, elected officials, architects, urban planners…) a place of information, of prospective reflection and of exchanges, in order to create the circumstances favorable to the debate, to imagine innovative solutions and to propose concrete applications to the actors of the city of tomorrow. “.
The Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, founded in 2006 by the architect and professor Jana Revedin, with the City of Architecture & Heritage as a cultural partner and under the patronage of UNESCO, has been awarded to the Cité since 2007.
The City has exhibition spaces within each of the two galleries permanent exhibition, the room Viollet-le-Duc, and five temporary exhibition spaces on the lower floors, the large upper gallery of 900 m2 which hosts one or two large annual exhibitions and the 382 m2 low gallery, while the high and low streets present documentary exhibitions, including those of the Chaillot school workshops and the exhibition hall of the exhibitions. Architectural creation platform and the Housing Laboratory, totaling more than 2,000m2. This multiplicity of spaces makes it possible to organize a dozen or so per year.
In 2009, the exhibition “Grand Pari de l’agglomération parisienne” presented the results of an international consultation launched by the President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, on the future of the agglomeration. Jean-Christophe Quinton, architect and director of the National School of Architecture of Versailles, was the curator. Attendance was over 210,000 visitors. An exhibition on “The ecological habitat” is also scheduled Dominique Gauzin Muller, a reference on this subject, is the Commissioner.
In 2010, the Comic Strip is in the spotlight with the exhibition “Archi & BD, the comic city”. Jean-Marc Thevenet in the curator and his attendance is 108 000 visitors.
In 2011, the exhibition “The Hotel particulier, a Parisian ambition” is curated by the art historian Alexandre Gady with a visitor attendance of 101 000 visitors 17 and “the fertile city” is entrusted to Nicolas Gilsoul, architect, landscaper and Michel Pena and Michel Audouy, landscapers.
In 2012, the exhibition “Circulate, when our movements shape the city”, allows the visitor to follow origins in the near future, the evolution of urban conceptions, urban spaces and buildings generated by the circulation of people through territories. The curator of this exhibition is the architect and engineer Jean-Marie Duthilleul.
In 2013, the art deco movement is the subject of the exhibition “1925, when Art Deco seduces the world”. Guy Amsellem, who arrived at the Cité in November 2012, finds this exhibition programmed by his predecessor François de Mazières, who elected MP resigned in June 2012, and Emmanuel Bréon, chief curator at La Cité. The choice of the new president maintain this exhibition is good, since it hosts nearly 205,000 visitors.
In 2014, two major exhibitions are presented, “Revoir Paris”, for which François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, authors of the Obscure Cities, have their futuristic vision of the City of Light dialogue with a selection of drawings by architects and urbanism projects. designed for Paris for two centuries, as well as a heritage exhibition “Viollet-le-Duc, the visions of an architect”.
In 2015, the exhibition “Everything is landscape, an inhabited architecture – Simone and Lucien Krol” and the Platform of architectural creation inaugurates in the exhibition hall its quarterly exhibitions “Duos and debates” associating two workshops of architects, one French, the other European.
In 2016, the exhibition “Tous à la plage” gives an overview of the history of seaside towns in France, with regard to European practices, from the origins to the present day.
In 2017, two major exhibitions are proposed, “The Architect: Portraits and Clichés” presents the evolution of the architectural profession in all its aspects since antiquity and “Globes, Architectures and Sciences explore the world”, shows through 90 projects and achievements of spherical buildings, how architects, along with astronomers, geographers, science fiction writers, etc. participated in the discovery of the terrestrial and heavenly world and its representation of antiquity to the present day. In addition, the Cité celebrates its 10th anniversary with the exhibitions “10 years of acquisitions (2007-2017)” and “10 years of restorations (2007-2017)”.
In 2018, the exhibition “.Architecture also May ” invites us to revisit the twenties from 1962 to 1984, where the renewal of teaching accompanied that of architecture and urban planning and two monographic exhibitions present the work of Alvar Aalto and Georges-Henri Pingusson.