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Paris Picasso Museum

A majestic entrance hall complete with a monumental staircase and fully restored frescoes; vast and luminous exhibition rooms decorated in white; perfectly linear stone walls, often with vaulted ceilings built from scratch…The stone smiths and site workers from Pradeau & Morin, a subsidiary of Eiffage Construction specialised in the renovation of heritage sites, have pulled out all the stops for the Paris Picasso Museum.

Led by architect firm Bodin & Associés and architect-in-chief of historic monuments Stéphane Thouin, seventy site workers and around ten engineers have carried out a total refurbishment of the Hôtel Salé in the space of two and a half years. This 17th century private mansion, which is a listed building, had housed the works of the Spanish artist, painter and sculptor Pablo Ruiz Picasso since 1985, before being closed for repairs in 2006. While the old building, located in the heart of the Marais district in Paris, suffered from its constricted layout and no longer met safety standards, the new premises are surprising in their scale and majesty, which is further accentuated by the abundance of white walls and natural light.

 

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© Guillaume Maucuit Lecomte.

Teams from Eiffage had to restore the original stucco and woodwork, the interior sculptures of the main staircase, as well as all the windows that have retained their original features while offering modern glazing thermal and safety performances. At the same time as the building was being refurbished and renovated it was also being brought up to current safety and access standards.

Thanks to the new layout, the number of exhibition halls for the permanent collections has been tripled. The public can now also discover the entire attic floor and its large baroque beams, the listed 17th century wood panelling room and the rooms on the second floor that were previously unavailable. It is now the world’s largest Picasso museum in terms of exhibition space, and the richest in terms of the exhibits on show.