Hospitality Design Project: The renovated National French Library

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The architects Bruno Gaudin and Virginie Brégal really did some magic in this  hospitality design project after year of renovation.

In this hospitality projects building you will find the collections and reading rooms of the manuscript department, the maps and plans branch, the office of coins, medals and antiques and the performing arts office. Since 1993, the quadrilateral also houses the National French Library of art history.

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Can you imagine the demanding 21st century and the aging building’s lack of response to those modern needs? Well, it was in the early 2000s that was decided that the building had become unsuitable for these demands. A major overhaul was planned, starting in 2011 by the hands of Bruno Gaudin’s architecture firm. Restoration of the listed ‘salle labrouste’ was attributed to Jean-françois Lagneau. As the intention was to keep the library partially open, the renovation has been divided into two phases, with the second stage set to complete in 2020.

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The architects completed exhaustive historical and structural studies in order to gain as much information as possible,  Striking a balance between restoration and contemporary addition, bruno gaudin’s office developed different typologies of ‘weaves’, which set up a variety of dialogs between architecture, history, and technique and contract furniture.

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“This long history of the construction of the library, often conducted by the major architects of each period, has left us with a heritage of extreme complexity commensurate with the richness of the heritage of the spaces that characterize it,” explains the design team. “by hewing as closely as possible to the reality of the existing ensemble, the challenge of this project consisted of seeking the right balance between a building and a program.”

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