Location: Paris, France.

Architect: Lacaton & Vassal.

The Palais de Tokyo was built for the 1937 International Exhibition and was originally the Museum National d’Art Moderne until 1974. After various programs occupied the building, it became a large black box that did not fit its location. A project to rehabilitate it as a “Palais du CinĂ©ma” was abandoned in 1997, leaving the building as an empty shell until 1999. The Ministry of Culture then decided to create a site for contemporary creation with a limited budget. The architects, Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal, proposed a simple and light response that utilized the existing structure and preserved the freedom of the spaces without partitioning them off. They aimed to create porosity and consider the space as a place to inhabit, resembling a town square. The project also regulated the necessary works for the reopening of the place and its occupation, prioritizing structural stability, accessibility, and safety. The architects added light interventions on the outside to improve safety and accessibility, attenuating the monumentality of the place. The project is currently under construction.

Photo credit: Lacaton + Vassal.