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Hangar Y - Art Explora’s new place of inspiration

Art Explora will move in 2022 into this exceptional site to develop a unique cultural programme, a destination that will offer families new artistic and cultural experiences in the heart of an unusual place that has left its mark on history and science.

History

Built by architect Henri de Dion from the metal doors of the Great Machine Hall of the 1878 Paris World’s Fair, Hangar Y is a large open volume 70 metres in length and 24 metres wide, standing on an exceptional 10-hectare wooded site around the hexagonal Chalais pond designed by Le Nôtre.

© Yury Toropstov

Built for the Paris World’s Fair, Hangar Y was dismantled and rebuilt in Meudon on the banks of the hexagonal Chalais pond designed by Le Nôtre in 1659 in the grand perspective of the chateau of Meudon, which is no longer standing. An essential part of French aviation history, it became an airship hangar and was the site of the world’s first closed-circuit flight in 1884. Typical of 19th century industrial architecture, this jewel of the heritage of Ile-de-France had remained unused for several decades.

Art Explora’s new place of inspiration

In September 2022, the Art Explora cultural foundation will move into this exceptional site to develop a unique cultural programme, a destination that will offer families new artistic and cultural experiences in the heart of an unusual place that has left its mark on history and science. Art Explora wishes to offer the public a unique moment of escape and fresh air, and thus become the foundation’s place of inspiration.

© Agence d'architecture DATA

Ce dernier offrira aux visiteurs une expérience holistique mêlant arts, sciences et histoire, au cœur de la forêt et s’articulera autour des différents espaces du site :

  • Le Hangar Y qui accueillera les expositions temporaires programmées par la fondation Art Explora ainsi qu’une expérience en réalité mixte retraçant l’histoire du site, un café et une librairie
  • Un atelier qui proposera des ateliers artistiques et scientifiques pour les enfants
  • Un parc de 10 hectares entourant le bassin hexagonal de Le Nôtre, où se déploieront un parcours d’œuvres extérieur ainsi que des activités ludiques pour les enfants
  • Un restaurant au bord de l’eau

Le projet architectural

Le Hangar Y avec l’agence d’architecture DATA

©Yury Toropstov

Conçu par l’agence d’architecture DATA, le projet architectural propose un nouvel état pour la façade nord du Hangar Y, initialement inexistante pour laisser sortir les dirigeables. Cette nouvelle façade présente un dessin résolument contemporain et tout en légèreté grâce à l’utilisation de l’acier et du verre. Un grand oculus au cœur de la façade, singulier, adoucit le dessin orthogonal du découpage des éléments vitrés et rappellera, comme un fantôme du XIXe siècle, le « nez » des dirigeables pointant depuis la grande nef qui les logeait. Pour compléter le dispositif, de grandes portes monumentales permettront d’offrir une nouvelle relation d’usage entre l’intérieur du Hangar Y et le parc tout en permettant le passage d’œuvres monumentales.

A l’intérieur de la halle, deux mezzanines installées dans les volumes des bas-côtés offriront de grandes surfaces libres pour les expositions de la fondation Art Explora.

Le Parc avec le cabinet Urban Act et le paysagiste Christian Fournet

© Agence d'architecture DATA

Unused for 40 years, the grounds of the Chalais pond will, from September 2022, reveal the wealth of their historical, cultural, scientific and ecological heritage. The development project for the grounds focuses on four key elements: the rehabilitation of the grand perspective, the creation of a restaurant and a workshop building, and the development of the woods.

First comes the redevelopment of the historical axis imagined by Le Nôtre in the 17th century in the perspective of the château of Meudon. A true link between Haut and Bas Meudon, between the city and the forest, the hexagonal Chalais pond lies at the heart of the expected rehabilitation of the grand perspective. The lawns will enable the eye to discover the landscaped and artistic pathway along the banks of the basin before plunging back into the green carpet of the Meudon national forest.

Merging into the landscape, the restaurant will appear to float among the trees. A wood and steel framework will, like a parenthesis or a leaf on the water, create a stopping place along the trail.

The workshop, which will welcome children for artistic and scientific experiences, will be slightly set back while resuming the same structure as the restaurant. Suspended among the trees, the architectural framework will open onto a large terrace with southern exposure, set on the water of the pond designed by Le Nôtre.

Finally, the woods surrounding the pond, long forgotten and lying fallow, will be rehabilitated into a landscaped park offering a host of ambiences and an outdoor art works trail.

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