Paris Museum of Natural History Forecourt
The design is situated in the forecourt of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, located on the left bank of the River Seine. The site sits within the Jardins des Plantes, Paris’ historic botanic garden. The museum was founded in 1793 during the French Revolution, though the site had been used as a royal garden of medicinal plants since 1635.
This design is a materially and intellectually rich landscape that encourages its visitors to engage with the histories of the site and its role in French culture. Interactive and educational experiences are prioritized through formal design and programmatic intent. These activate the site for a wide variety of visitors, creating multi-sensory experiences.
KEY DESIGN PRINCIPLES
- “Encountering the Exotic” challenges this structured approach by drawing inspiration from the Oriental Plane’s root patterning, offering a curated space for reflection on Paris’s complex relationship with colonized places.
- Use the Oriental Plane, a tree iconic in Paris, holds colonial roots, symbolizing the exoticization of nature in the metropolis.
- Water features symbolize the extensive journeys of specimens on display in both the museum and garden.
- Immersive landforms guide a circulation pattern, breaking away from the site’s typical rectilinear layout.
- Careful consideration of materiality and vegetation creates sophisticated transitions and encourages contemplation.
- To provide tourists and locals with an experiential landscape that informs them about the country’s intricate ties to colonized flora, fauna, and people, catering to all age groups.
- Project Name
- Paris Museum of Natural History Forecourt
- Paris, France
- Concept Completed
- 5,603 m²