Design Museums are always a good program when visiting a city. After a four-year renovation, the remarkable Hôtel de la Marine is now receiving guests, reopening as a major Parisian Design Museum! With an outstanding location, on Paris’s Place de la Concorde, close to the famous Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries, offers a luxurious experience, right in the center of Paris, the city of lights!
The Hôtel de la Marine was designed in 1758 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the chief architect to King Louis XV. This luxury place has 250 years of history providing a dazzling view into the decorative arts of 18th-century France. During the French Revolution until 2015 this was the headquarters of France’s navy ministry. And in 2021, this place shelters an incredible design museum.
With an amazing collection of pieces, the new design museum includes a sofa that was made originally for Marie Antoinette! Visitors can have an audio tour of the historic places, One of the first things they will see is a new addition to the facility, a gemlike glass ceiling created by architect Hugh Dutton alongside Christophe Bottineau, head architect at France’s historic monuments office, that caps the intendant’s courtyard.
The Hôtel de la Marine is an architectural gem in the heart of Paris, with an incredible view on the Place de la Concorde from its loggia. This monument was the first museum in Paris. Representative of the French art de vivre, it was essential to preserve it for future generations in order to account for the technical know-how of France: stone cutting, gilding, trimmings, carpentry and cabinetry, chandeliers, sculptures and paintings.
JOCELYN BOURALY, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE MUSEUM.
In 2015, following the navy’s departure, the space was assigned to Centre des Monuments Nationaux, whose mission was to conserve, restore, and maintain approximately 100 national monuments, including the famed Arc de Triomphe, Villa Kérylos in the French Riviera, and Sainte Chapelle, among others. Two years later, a massive renovation began, starting with the architecturally significant façade before moving into the courtyards and apartments, and now a great design museum is born.
The architecture of the Parisian design museum is jaw-dropping all alone, but it’s not the only outstanding aspect! Filled with a number of treasures, such as, a vase-clock with dolphin handles in soft-paste porcelain, a sofa made for Marie-Antoinette by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené, a cylinder desk by Riesener ordered in 1784 by Thierry de Ville-d’Avray, and a sideboard by the same Riesener, ordered by Thierry de Ville-d’Avray and which was held at the Élysée Palace. Also, Michel Charrière and Joseph Achka, decorators and 18th-century specialists, searched auction houses, flea markets, galleries, to find the best historic pieces in order to restore these spaces as loyally as possible for the public.