The original building that now houses the Pavillon de l'Arsenal
was built in 1878 by the architect Clément for a rich wood merchant.
Situated in the 4th arrondissement near the former site of the 14th century Celestine
monastic community and later an armament manufacturing works, the owner of the building,
Laurent-Louis Borniche, had always wished that it would be used as an exhibition centre.
But it wasn't until 1988 that the City of Paris
purchased the Pavillon de l'Arsenal and realising the life-long wish of Laurent-Louis
Borniche, they created an information, documentation and exhibition centre for the
architecture and urbanism of Paris.
It is a unique place, where the information concerning urban development of Paris and its
architectural realisations are available to everyone, by providing visitors the most
accurate documentation possible. And the main activities of the Pavillon de
l'Arsenal are to exhibit the Parisian architecture and planning issues, which are always
at the heart of current debates, hence allowing the citizens of Paris to be involved in
the architectural and urban creations.
This place shows virtually everything possible that relates to the history of Paris architecture through models,
photographs and documentation in the form of drawings and original plans, along with new
projects and ideas that are portrayed to renew the famous City of Lights.
The Pavillon de l'Arsenal presents three types of exhibition and on the ground floor you
will find the permanent exhibition, which presents a guided tour of the City of Paris
showing how it was built up over the centuries along with future projects that are
planned. On the first floor you will find temporary exhibitions of which there are
around three every year, and these are centred on a particular theme and there have been
over forty different temporary exhibitions so far. And last but not least, on the second
floor you will be able to view topical galleries with exhibits dedicated to French and
Now from what we have said so far, you can no doubt appreciate that this is a specialised
exhibition centre and is of great interest to historians, the residents of Paris or those
who have a passion for architecture with some tremendous models on display. But it
is not really one of the best places to go as a family or for the casual visitor, as you
could end up getting rather bored and you would be better off visiting places like the Pompidou Centre.
The Pavillon de l'Arsenal is open on a Sunday from 11am through to 7pm and is closed on a
Monday. From a Tuesday through to a Saturday it is open from 10.30am to 6pm and is
also closed on national holidays.
Address & Contact Details:
The Pavillon de l'Arsenal
21 Boulevard Morland
Telephone: 1 42 76 33 97