Atelier d’architecture Philippe Prost : Hôtel de la monnaie

Neo-classical architecture jewel erected in 1776 by Jacques-Denis Antoine, the Hotel of the currency of Paris (6e) is reborn thanks to the intervention of the architect Philippe Prost, after six years of work in occupied site. A major challenge brilliantly met by the French architect, who now links this exceptional site to the crafts that it houses.

Lovers of rooms, crafts, architecture and good restaurants have now a meeting place in common, the Monnaie de Paris. Under an envelope dating from the eighteenth century, multiple structures mingle indeed here: a shop; a coffee, Struck; a museum containing three exhibition spaces, the 11 Conti; a restaurant, that of Guy Savoy; and tooling and engraving workshops; in what is the last factory of the Capital. A village of irreducible Gauls located in the heart of the mythical district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés where are still struck medals and some 200 000 pieces per year! including some of 2 euros. "This is not a reserve of Indians or Disneyland," and claims loud and clear its CEO, Aurelian Rousseau.

The project of Philippe Prost renders its original appearance to the building of Jacques-Denis Antoine, which, due to renovations, had been obstructed and distorted. More generally, it restores its status to this 1,3 hectare building, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located between the Seine quays, rue Guénégaud, the impasse de Conti and a dense built islet: la Plateau de l IV. To do this, the supervisor adds two entries and creates a new inner path around which the different programs are organized. The manufacture is henceforth clearly shown, claimed, and becomes itself a museum part; a living museum: the "11 Conti", an architectural tour where workshops and galleries alternate work for the 170 000 works belonging to the institution, including 35 000 coins. A scenography directly linked to the production of the place, therefore - unlike temporary exhibition spaces, which, they deal with any subject, and take place in the floor of nobles, facing the Seine. While most of the objects in the permanent collection are positioned in showcases, others take place on original coin tables or on furniture evoking numismatic handicrafts.

Thus, the minting of coins found a place of choice in the courtyard of honor and is embellished with various specialized studios, scattered throughout the monument. A new tooling and engraving workshop is also set up in place of the old enclosure wall, entirely covered with perforated copper panels metaphorizing the boards in which the blanks of the pieces are cut.

Finally, the architect draws a new shop in the former foundry of the quai de Conti, highlighted by a skylight from a skylight culminating at 17 meters high. This shopping area, largely glazed, one of the only spaces visible from the outside, is the showcase of the project. "Opening the Monnaie de Paris on the city was not easy because it is a regal site, which had to be able to protect itself, to defend itself," says the architect.

If the monument has just reopened, the project will end only in 2019, with the creation of a new passage and a garden in the east part, on the plot of the year IV. The opportunity to rediscover this place located halfway between classical and contemporary architecture, between art and industry.

Project title : Mint
City, Country: Paris (6e)
Owner: Money of Paris
Mastery of work : Architecture agency Philippe Prost
Area : 15 000 m2
Cost of works: 52 M €
Calendar : 2017 delivery

The project is selected for les ArchiDesignclub Awards 2018 in the category Culture / Museum and exhibition spaces

To learn more, visit ArchiDesignclub the Awards site et of architectural studio Philippe Prost

Pictures: adagp

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