Paris, France | 2012 | Graphic design and signage
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The redevelopment of the visitor reception facilities

  • Client: Universcience
  • Project management: AREP, MaP3 (structural engineering)
  • Main companies involved: Asten (roads and infrastructure and watertightness), SAM+ (locksmithing and airlocks), Spie batignolles TPCI (gangway and structural work), Cegelec (electrics and fluids), Snef (finishings and fittings), Otis (electromechanical engineering), HP84 (signage), Agrivert (green areas), Altempo (site facilities)
  • Surface:  2 500 m², development of the outside spaces: 15 000 m²
  • Schedule: Project definition contract – 2009, handover - December 2012
AREP was selected in 2009 at the end of an architectural competition to renovate the Cité’s forecourt with the remit being to redevelop the immediate vicinity of the building and its forecourt, redesign pathways and public accesses, redefine the large internal hall, redistribute the service areas and overhaul site signage.

AREP put forward a project that fits with the identity of the building designed by the architect Adrien Fainsilber and is based on four core principles:
- Make it easier for visitors to understand what there is to see and find their way around.
- Improve visitor comfort and user-friendliness.
- Safety and accessibility, and develop the quality of the services and retail outlets.
- Adapt the site of the Cité to future changes.
Phase 1 of the project has just been handed over and took place without the Cité being closed to the public.
The Northern Forecourt is designed to receive most of the visitors coming to the museum and now contains a tree-filled garden that softens the current mineral feel. Wooden and reconstituted stone benches enable the public to take back ownership of the forecourt. The use of light colours on the ground surfaces makes it easy for pedestrians and cyclists to get their bearings. The main pathways run through the garden, therefore clarifying the access routes from public transport stops and the city towards the Cité’s main entrance, which is now properly marked by a luminous red sign.