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Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine

Collection Focus: national. 1)The Collection of the Musée des Monuments français : – The cast collection is based on Viollet-le-Duc’s museum of Comparative Sculpture which opened in 1882. He was the first to assemble a collection of life-size plaster casts of parts of major French monuments (portals, capitals, sculpture, ornaments…). It runs from the 12th to the 18th century. The purpose of the museum was first and foremost educational: to create a corpus of works from which artists could find inspiration for modern architectural creations. In 1900, an important collection of plaster models commissioned by architect Anatole de Baudot – who also taught a series of “architectural lessons” in the Chaillot palace – reinforced the didactic intention of the collection. – The collection of wall paintings and stained glass was founded in 1937. It consists of life-size copies of some of the greatest French painted chapels and interiors. As well as having an archaeological value, particularly when the original wall painting has today partly disappeared, this unique collection recounts the evolution of French mural painting from the 12th to the 16th century. – The 19th and 20th century architecture collection: in 2007, the museum opened a new gallery that retraces the history of contemporary French architecture from the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century, until today. Presentation is thematically organised, covering such topics as, for instance, “the art of building”, “industrialisation”, “housing for all”, or “architecture’s power of suggestion”. A collection of analytical models was made especially for this permanent display, completed by an acquisition policy of original models and drawings. Life-size building elements are shown; one of the main features is the life-size replica of an apartment of Le Corbusier’s Cité radieuse in Marseille. All museum collections shall be accessible through the web site in 2010. The Geoffroy-Dechaume collection (casts, drawings, photographs) is on line (in “Ressources documentaires/ portail documentaire”). The photograph collection (2799 items, old views of the collections and of the museum) is on line (in “Ressources documentaires/ portail documentaire”). 2)The 20th century architecture archive centre (Institut français d’architecture/Centre d’archives d’architecture du XXe siècle) collects archives of French architects. They consist of drawings – individual drawings when complete archives are not available -, correspondence, models, photographs, ephemera. Over 300 archives have been collected, such as those of Auguste Perret, Henri Sauvage, André Lurçat, François Hennebique, Emile Aillaud, Georges Candilis, l’Atelier de Montrouge, etc…Archives collected by the Académie d’architecture have been deposited in 2001 including those of Paul Bigot, Léon Jaussely, Henri Prost, Paul Tournon, Albert Laprade, etc. All archive inventories and a few thousand reproductions are accessible through the ArchiWebture web site (in “Ressources documentaires/ portail documentaire”). Drawings can be reproduced.

Library Holdings
The focus is international, on 20th century and contemporary architecture, and related fields such as urban planning or landscape. The library aims at holding 45.000 books, 450 series of periodicals as well as digital documents, DVDs, etc;… Collections are available in free access. Four major series of architecture magazines have been digitised and are available on the web site. (La Construction moderne (1885-1936), La Revue générale des travaux publics ((1840-1888), L’Architecte (1889-1936), L’Architecture (1906-1935)). Full catalogue is available through web site.

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