Institut Giacometti

Paris, France


The Giacometti Institute is a historical building with an art-deco style. This building housed former studio designer Paul Follot and has been redesigned by the architecture studio Pascal Grasso. A reenactment of the original studio, led by the Homonymous foundation, will present preserved works of Giacometti’s art in its entirety thanks to his wife Annette. Some of the pieces of work which include plaster and/or clay have never been seen before, as well as mural paintings being displayed. Being exposed to the public for the first time, the institution will house archives such as an impressive collection of five thousand (5,000) drawings, lithographs and notebooks.

Leader of the institution and head of the Giacometti foundation, Catherine Grenier, will present a programme of didactic initiatives; temporary exhibitions aimed at deepening the various aspects of Giacometti’s work, his relations to artists/writers of his time and also Giacometti’s influence on successive generations of contemporary artists.

The challenge

Goppion has designed and built the large glass panel that protects the reconstruction of the artist's workshop. It’s an angular and completely glazed panel, composed of two types of glass. On the main side, a staircase allows people to observe the workshop in its entirety. The other side consists of two glazed slabs, one fixed and the other open. The "Pull & Slide" opening system has double movement: the perpendicular extraction of the door (driven by a crank) followed by a lateral slip, which can be carried out safely by one person with the use of a suction cup. The mechanism of the moving part and the technical spaces are integrated into the structure of the room. They are completely invisible but accessible by a system of security locks.

A challenging but achievable part of this project was the difficulty of operating inside a historic building. With inevitable delays of construction due to the nature of this project, the installation of the floor in particular prevented the displaying of the showcase according to the terms and delivery times initially anticipated. A decision was therefore made to mount the wall inside a prefabricated frame, thus respecting the necessary precision which distinguishes the Goppion mechanisms from that of the construction works (such as the floor and plaster). Thanks to the coordination between the different contractors involved, the installation allowed to adhere to the requirements of the customer and the preservation of the premises, without compromising the high aesthetic level required.