Hangar Y in Meudon

In spring 2023, the Hangar Y, a cultural and event centre open to all, will open its doors to offer a programme guided by three worlds: culture, science and nature.  

credit: Salvador Banyo

The Hangar Y

The first airship hangar in the world, Hangar Y was built in 1879. Abandoned for 70 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. Art Explora will offer an artistic programme 6 months a year.  

credit: Salvador Banyo

Interior spaces

Composed of a central nave and two high mezzanines, the public will be able to enjoy monumental spaces dedicated to the arts and sciences.

The interior space will host temporary exhibitions, digital experiences, cultural events, a café and a shop.  

Exterior spaces

At the Hangar Y, the trail of artworks aims to offer a unique experience of art, with works that invite dreams, discovery, participation and reflection, and dialogue harmoniously with the environment.  

To this end, a trail of sensory works is being created in the 10 hectares of natural space surrounding the Hangar Y, with a selection of permanent and temporary sculptures.  

Additional spaces

In addition to the interior space of the hangar and the natural space, the Hangar Y site will also host a restaurant, Le Perchoir, located on the edge of the pond.  

In addition, a space dedicated to the organisation of artistic, cultural or professional workshops will be built.  

Data, Urban Act and Christian Fournet

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 Art Explora foundation, invited to develop an artistic programme 

As part of this gigantic project to rehabilitate Hangar Y, the Art Explora Foundation has been invited to take charge of the artistic programming of the site for 6 months a year. It will also work on mediation in collaboration with local schools and associations.  

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 will focus on contemporary creation and the new challenges of our century, in line with the Hangar's century-old history.  

credit: Salvador Banyo

The inaugural exhibition

This exhibition, conceived in partnership with Art Explora, will aim to highlight the artists' view of the theme of exploration, whether creative, scientific or technological.  

Indeed, the inaugural exhibition will be an opportunity to pay tribute to the building, its architecture, its history, by honouring human ingenuity and the exploits of its first navigators and aviators.  

“From reality to mythology, the sky is a risky and fascinating playground for man, leading to all the greatest dreams and a permanent desire to travel and escape. The exhibition tells the story of the adventures of the 'sky builders', who have traced new paths in space and linked the earth to the cosmos through science and passion”.

Marie-Laure Bernadac,  Hangar Y inaugural exhibition curator

A look back at the pre-opening weekend in October 2022   

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 from Art Explora x Artagon residency
  • 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.  
  • 1879 : 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.  

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