The Hangar Y in Meudon

Hangar Y – the new cultural venue in Greater Paris, at the crossroads of art, science and technology, history and nature – will open its doors to the general public on 22 March 2023 with a major inaugural exhibition organised by the Art Explora Foundation, invited by Hangar Y as part of its patronage programme, and featured for the first six months.

The Hangar Y

The first airship hangar in the world, Hangar Y was built in 1878. Abandoned for 40 years, Hangar Y will become a cultural and event centre after many months of renovation work. In 2023, the site will become a cultural destination open to all: families, art lovers, science lovers and nature lovers.

© Adeline Bommart - Sébastien Rageul

Hangar Y is:

  • The new cultural and event venue in Greater Paris
  • A remarkably large-sized historical monument where the world’s first airship took flight
  • A 9-hectare park, classified as French National property
  • A restaurant
  • A workshop

What’s on at Hangar Y:

  • Two exhibitions a year, combining topics on science, nature and art
  • An outside tour with works by around twenty major contemporary artists
  • The Hangar Y Adventure, a mixed-reality experience, allowing visitors to relive the facility’s legendary history in situ

Hangar Y also includes:

  • An independent legal entity  (HY Développement) whose purpose is to operate the Hangar Y venue and a real estate lessor (HY Immobilier) that signed an emphyteutic lease with the French Ministry of Culture in 2018
  • Hangar Y has set up a patronage programme, inaugurated by Art Explora in 2023 with:

-   An exhibition created by Art Explora and running at Hangar Y from May to September 2023

-   A visitor programme, coordinated by Art Explora, that facilitates local or culturally-alienated audiences’ access to the venue

Hangar Y in numbers:

  • 3900 m2 of indoor exhibition spaces
  • 10 hectares of unique natural spaces around the building
  • 1 restaurant on the waterfront
  • 1 workshop space with 4 private rooms
  • 200 000 visitors expected each year

The inaugural exhibition organised by Art Explora

At the crossroads between the arts and sciences, the Hangar Y's artistic programming will aim to renew the dialogue between the arts and audiences. It focuses on contemporary creation and the new challenges of our century, in line with the Hangar's century-old history.

The inaugural exhibition

In the Air, the flying machines, orchestrated by Marie-Laure Bernadac, an independent curator and the exhibition’s honorary chief curator, in collaboration with Blanche de Lestrange, Art Explora’s artistic director, pays tribute to Hangar Y’s initial function. It offers an in-depth exploration of the history of aeronautics with a hundred or so works and archives on display: poetic paintings, installations, monumental sculptures that play on repurposing machines, contemplative or political videos, photographs, scale models and other historical records.

Mediation tools

As part of Art Explora’s commitment to bringing culture closer to the widest possible audience, the Foundation has developed a comprehensive programme for facilitation and audience engagement within Hangar Y.

  • A first-ever audio tour with 12 soundtracks for adults and children to be found in the exhibition and on Art Explora Academy
  • A booklet especially designed to guide families touring the Hangar Y exhibition, by the designer designer Sophie Cure
  • Activities for schools and associations in Meudon

In October 2022, a pre-opening week-end by Art Explora

From 20 to 23 October 2022, the Hangar Y opened its doors for a few days as a preview of what the hangar will be like after the renovation work. For this purpose, the Hangar Y invited the Art Explora foundation to develop a multidisciplinary and participative programme over 4 days.  

During this pre-opening of the premises, more than 10,000 visitors were able to discover the hangar and its gardens, in a family and inclusive atmosphere.

With free access, the artistic programme prepared by Art Explora was based on a multidisciplinary approach:  

  • An opening night with DJ sets
  • Choreographic performances by artists Yoann et Marie Bourgeois  
  • An exhibition of 10 young artists
  • Video presentations of Thanks for Nothing workshops
  • The inauguration of the permanent work of Korean artist Lee Bul  
  • “Lights” exhibition presented by the musée mobile MuMo x Centre Pompidou  
  • Guided tours of the hangar

Hangar Y History

Located in Meudon in the heart of the national forest estate, Hangar Y takes its name from military maps, on which the hangar was designated by a "Y".  

In 1879, on the banks of the Chalais pond, in the former royal gardens, the Etablissement Central de l'Aérostation Militaire decided to set up a research and production site for aeronautical equipment. Hangar Y became the first airship factory in the world.  

This factory, built from the structure of the Galerie des Machines created for the Universal Exhibition of 1878, thus has a dual heritage. It is as much one of the last remaining monuments of 19th century industrial architecture as it is a reminder of the scientific innovations of the time.  

In 1884, the airship "La France" made the world's first closed-circuit flight. From 1902, the Chalais-Meudon centre took part in the efforts that led to the birth of French aviation. The Hangar Y then housed the Air Museum from 1921 to 1977 before its installation at Le Bourget.

Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace

In 2021, the architectural firms DATA and Urban Act, the landscape designer Christian Fournet and Vinci have been commissioned by HY Développement to renovate the site and turn it into a major cultural and event destination.

Le Hangar Y in dates:

  • 1659 : Creation of the royal perspective with the Chalais pond in the gardens of the Château de Meudon by Le Nôtre.  
  • 1878 : Construction of Hangar Y in Meudon from the rooms of the Galerie des Machines, to house the airships of the Établissement Central de l'Aérostation Militaire.  
  • 1990 : The site and Hangar Y are assigned to the Ministry of Culture.  
  • 2000 : Hangar Y is classified as a historical monument.
  • 2021 : Launch of renovation works on the Hangar Y to transform it into a cultural and event centre.  
  • 2023 : Opening of the Hangar Y to the public.  

Devenez partenaire du projet

Become partner of the programme

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