Saturday, 21 January 2012

Ministry of Culture and Communication Building in Paris

I am going to start my new focus blog, with these photos I recently took of the building which houses the french Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris. The Ministry's role is to oversee the artistic and cultural heritage of France.

When looking for photos to include in this post I realised I didn't have one that includes the whole building. If you would like to see a picture of the full building go to

The building is located at 182 rue St Honoré very close to the Comèdie Française and the Palais Royale and is a five minute walk from the Louvre. The building has been formed by joining and renovating several buildings, including the Vaudoyer Building, a former warehouse on the rue St Honoré and another on rue Montesquieu.

The architect who undertook the exterior work to integrate the two buildings was Francois Soler. In his short outline describing his goals when doing the design work, Soler said that the new building is intended to be a blend of different values under the one banner, displaying equal enthusiasm for all arts through all historical periods and giving them equal importance.

I assume that the incorporation of several traditional looking buildings within a contemporary looking exterior metal (resille work) structure, is a visual metaphor for the bringing together of the various responsibilities of the Ministry in preserving the heritage of France.

I know Paris does have modern buildings in places like La Defence but in this part of Paris most buildings are very traditional in style. From my point of view I liked the concept of reinvigorating these traditional buildings in city of traditional buildings in a modern and original way. I particularly like the intricate nature of the metal work and the way it glints and shines as the light hits it. I also suspect it appealed to me because it reminds me of lace and also seems to reference the art nouveau period reminding me of Parisian metro entrances.

You can see a picture of paris metro entrances at this link:

I feel that the architect has taken very traditional concepts such as old buildings, metal lace and art nouveau design ideas and created a building with a wonderfully contemporary feel to it.

If anyone has any more information on this building I would love to hear about it.

1 comment:

Dawne Boynton Polis said...

Thanks so much for your visit to my blog, French at Heart. I was interested to hear about the restaurant being renovated. It sort of makes me sad! I loved the peeling paint! I was in Paris last November. also, but we didn't make it to that district.
I just love this Ministry that you've posted on. What a creative way to unify the separate buildings!
I'm going to follow you! Keep posting on Paris!