palais de la Porte Dorée

pictures from project palais de la Porte Dorée


The Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris is an important testimony to the Art Deco style and the french colonial history. It now houses the Musée National de l'Histoire de l'Immigration. Designed in the early 30’s, it encounters today many difficulties to meet security regulations and contemporary uses. The result in places is a certain visual cacophony and real functional complications.

The public institution of the Palais de la Porte Dorée wished to solve this issues and to offer a heritage interpretative path within the building spaces and garden to highlight and explain their exceptional architectural and artistic qualities.

The path furniture elements have two main ambitions:
As signage elements, they provide visitors with information about the Palace and its historical context.
As constructed elements, they allow visitors to better feel and understand the art deco specific proportions and qualities of the spaces.

In the existing context, it is first of all a question of obliterating and unifying: visually simplifying the spaces.
The furniture hides the technical elements that visually disturb the clarity of the 1930s architecture: fire extinguishers, electrical outlets, various terminals disappear.
Without being limited to a simple commentary, the furniture of the heritage path actively participates in the discovery of the palace and the sensitive experience of the spaces.

Throughout the palace and garden, large concrete lecterns-like sheets present texts, images and digital tablets accessible to all.

The four successive lives of the building are presented on the forum walkways.
Texts and graphic documents are presented alongside objects and interviews.
The display units are deliberately kept low so as not to interfere with the historical frescos and beautiful perspectives over the spectacular central void.

palais de la Porte Dorée

• Commissioned by

Musée National de l'Histoire de l'Immigration

• Completion


• Location

Paris, France

• Curator

Aude Pessey-Lux

• Graphic design

Agnès Dahan Studio