© Cyrille Weiner



The musée Carnavalet is devoted to the history of the city of Paris. It was opened by the municipal authorities in 1880 at a time when the city was undergoing the great urban development projects directed by Baron Haussmann. Its composite architecture is composed of two private residences: that of the Carnavalet family, built in 1548 and restored by François Mansart in 1655, and of Pelletier de Saint- Fargeau, built by Pierre Bullet in 1688. In addition to these, there are the architectural remains of buildings demolished in the 19th century and reconstructed in the gardens, and a supplementary building that links the whole together, the construction of which continued up until the start of the 20th century.

Over time, successive additions and redevelopments rendered problematic the plan of the visit to the museum, as well as its operation. The City of Paris therefore decided upon a partial renovation to restore coherence and appeal to the site.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner

The challenge of this renovation was to create a new tour layout for the museum, while nevertheless conserving its architecture and the special atmosphere of this museum so dear to the hearts of the Parisians.

© Pierre Antoine

In 2015 we were selected to direct the restoration and redevelopment of the site, and to redesign its interior in contemporary fashion accessible to all members of the public. The aim was to create a new, more coherent museum layout able to accommodate a large number of visitors without disturbing the charm of a venue which is much appreciated by the city’s residents. Another concern was to satisfy the museum’s ambitions of international outreach.

We restored certain roofings and facades, among which were those of great French architects like François Mansart and Libéral Bruant. We also redesigned the visitors’ tour, with a new reception area and the organisation of temporary and permanent exhibition rooms in the cellars, which until that time had not been open to the public.

© Antoine Mercusot
© Cyrille Weiner
© Antoine Mercusot

The project was realized in association with the Snøhetta agency, and with the Nathalie Crinière agency for the permanent scenography.

Paris 3e
Project type
and restoration
Project owner
Ville de Paris
Chatillon Architectes
(mandataire), Snøhetta
(associate architect),
agence Nathalie Crinière
42.5 M€ HT