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Musée du quai Branly in Paris

In the 1990s, a grand ethnological museum was conceived for Paris to house the collections of the Musée de l’Homme and the Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Oceanie. The ensuing competition was won by Jean Nouvel. He set the building in a large garden in which the different continents would be represented in planted form. To separate this world from the surrounding urban space, Nouvel adopted a concept he had used for the Fondation Cartier: a high glass wall along the boundary to the road. The elevated, curved main structure containing the exhibition spaces extends like a bridge 220 m into the gardens. Internally, a 180-metre-long ramp winds up to the upper floor, where the permanent exhibition is housed in a single large hall almost 5,000 m2 in area. Subdued natural light enters via the printed curtain-wall facade, while the objects themselves are individually accentuated by artificial lighting. The facade reveals a number of variations – depending on the aspect – from red sunscreen louvres and wooden gratings for climbing plants to dense vegetation.
This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 9/2006

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