dominique perrault completes refurbishment of pavilion dufour at palace of versailles dominique perrault completes refurbishment of pavilion dufour at palace of versailles
oct 05, 2016

dominique perrault completes refurbishment of pavilion dufour at palace of versailles

 

dominique perrault has completed an extension to the dufour wing at the palace of versailles in france. forming a bold addition to the existing structure, ‘pavillon dufour’ aims to facilitate and simplify the visitor entrance via a single access point. the redevelopment creates two new public spaces, with administrative offices making way for a reception area between the cour royale (royal courtyard) and the cour des princes (princes’ courtyard), as well as a large staircase leading to the gardens.

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image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

 

 

 

the narrow feeling of the interior has now disappeared: by digging a trench under the buildings and the cour des princes, the redevelopment opens up new spaces on the ground level and creates larger volumes on the garden level. the journey begins and ends with the reception area and the marble staircase alongside its golden prism: the two new spaces are thus connected like the clasp on a necklace.

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the reception area between the ‘cour royale’ and the ‘cour des princes’
image © andré morin / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

 

 

 

the reception starts in the galerie des lustres (chandeliers gallery) on the ground floor of the old wing. this high-ceilinged space, which opens on to the adjacent courtyards, is the first room visitors see as they make their way into the palace. after completing their tour, guests follow a lower path at garden level — underneath the cour des princes — which leads through a sequence of new rooms, including a bookstore, restrooms, and a cloakroom.

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a gold-colored glass corridor brings natural light into the new subterranean space
image © andré morin / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

 

 

 

the project’s focal point is a gold-colored glass corridor that brings natural light into the new subterranean space. acting like a large prism, glass panels reveal the façades of the old wing and the connecting wide marble staircase. dominique perrault has also revived the pavilion and existing building on their upper storeys, where a restaurant and adjoining tea rooms now welcome visitors. meanwhile, the uppermost level hosts an auditorium, surrounded with ancillary rooms on either side.

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the high-ceilinged reception is the first room visitors see as they make their way into the palace
image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

 

 

 

designed to accommodate nearly six million annual visitors, the reception provides control and security measures, ticket allocation, luggage storage and the distribution of audio guides. the scheme also offers guests with additional understanding of the site’s historical context, accommodating new educational facilities. importantly, the project also provides better services for visitors with disabilities. the project highlights the intrinsic qualities of classical architecture: under the guise of stillness and symmetry, everything remains the same and yet everything changes. historical heritage is ultimately preserved, while allowing for new contemporary usages that remain to be invented.

 

 

see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

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the circulation area
image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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metallic interventions highlight the scheme’s contemporary character
image © andré morin / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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wall detail
image © andré morin / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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DPA’s signature use of mesh is seen in lighting details
image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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the auditorium
image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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the entrance and reception hall at garden level
image © andré morin / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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the exit hall at ground level
image © andré morin / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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the alain ducasse restaurant restaurant
image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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the bar highlighted with brass accents
image © vincent fillon / dominique perrault architecture / adagp

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the museum shop is set within the museum’s former cisterns
image © patrick tourneboeuf / tendance floue / oppic

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