Snøhetta Adds a Touch of Novelty to the Historic musée Carnavalet in Paris
After an extensive four-year renovation period, the musée Carnavalet, reopens to the public on Saturday 29 May 2021. The renovated museum offers an enhanced visitor’s experience that provides a unique travel through time to discover the rich history of the city of Paris – a story told through 625,000 artefacts, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, woodwork, art pieces and photography. Snøhetta has participated in the overall reorganization of the layout of the museum, working hand in hand with Chatillon Architectes to offer a new visitor experience that can accommodate for a large number of visitors all while carefully respecting the original features of the museum.
A Timeless Approach
The shapes and materials used in our design for the museum are timeless. The design comprises sustainable energy solutions, as well as high quality and long-lasting materials. The choice of powder coated metal for the staircases and solid wood finishes provides a strong resistance to use and longer material lifecycle. Plastics and disposable materials (such as paper for signs) have been replaced by flexible multimedia solutions.
The renovated reception area is designed for optimal use, and the ticket counters and cloakrooms have been reworked to increase the museum’s capacity and comfort. Moreover, Snøhetta has designed new spaces dedicated to teaching activities that have also been introduced throughout the museum. This includes workshops and a research area where the public can join specific activity programs and access the extraordinary resources from the museum’s rich collection. Several new exhibition rooms have been created by Chatillon Architectes, some of which are located in cellars that where up until now unaccessible to the public.
An Enhanced Scenography
The exhibition designers and scenographers at Agence NC (Nathalie Crinière) have enhanced the visitor experience even further though generous exhibition spaces and an improved chronological display and contextualization of artefacts that come together to tell the story of Paris – from prehistoric times until to today. In parallel with the overall museum restauration and redevelopment, more than 3,800 artefacts have also been restored to their former glory by experts. The project has also allowed for the display of 60% of the artefacts that were previously stored in the museum’s reserves.
The enhanced visitor experience will ensure that the musée Carnavalet becomes an even more attractive venue for Parisians, the French and international tourists by making it physically and intellectually accessible for all. Information about the exhibited artifacts have been translated into several languages and are now universally accessible adapted to all types of museum-goers: from savvy art and history connoisseurs to curious young children that have just started discovering the museum’s rich universe.