Musée de la Poste
The Musée de La Poste in Paris has undergone a major renovation project with the aim of increasing its visibility, strengthening its identity within the French museum scene and becoming a candidate for a contemporary cultural venue.
Initially aimed at improving access for people with disabilities, the project - which bears the signature of architect Frédéric Jung - has thus been expanded to completely rethink architecture.
The building, articulated around a central glass column (totem) and equipped with large openings on the north and south facades, has ambitious and innovative objectives in terms of accessibility, safety, comfort and environmental sustainability.
The architecture and the exhibit design
The exhibition route has also been completely renovated. Organized on three levels, the first two are dedicated to the history of the post office from its origins to the present day and present very heterogeneous works (uniforms, models, paintings, machines ...) supplemented by videos and interactive animations. The third floor is reserved for philately and art, with numerous original works by the artists who created the stamps. In the central glass column are suspended the vehicles (a carriage, bicycles ...) that have made the history of French postal services.
Goppion attended at the entire installation, characterized by showcases of different types and styles to best meet the needs of the various sections. Thus the glass display cases that introduce the different themes, are island showcases that host emblematic objects, whose history invites the visitor to enter the atmosphere and to deepen the theme addressed. Large showcases with large, uninterrupted glass surfaces (up to 5 m wide and 4 m high) house the collections that are entrusted with the task of explaining the functioning of postal services in different periods.
Many buildings have been custom designed for specific exhibition needs, including the "stamp landscape", a set of horizontal and vertical display cases and display chests of drawers, surrounded by glass and over 20 metres long, where all the stamps issued by the French postal services over the years are displayed, or the composition of double-sided backlit photo frames, glued to the glass walls of the central column and visible both from the floors and from inside the column itself. The exhibition is completed by other more decorative showcases, with a minimalist style and light colours.
Goppion has also produced the other display units and furnishing accessories, among which the metal cladding of the perimeter walls on the third and fourth floors with graphics, text and multimedia tools are worth mentioning. Finally, the metal podiums with steel cables from which vintage advertising panels are suspended are of great impact.
As is now common practice in museums of new conception, the showcases and other installations are strongly integrated by multimedia instruments that have involved an important coordination work both in the design phase and in the pre-assembly and installation.
From the construction point of view, the main challenge was of a logistical nature: to transport and lift glass up to five metres and weighing up to 800 kg to the floor, passing through the glass cavity, where, for site requirements, only small passageways had been left.
For this purpose it was necessary to use special equipment, modified ad hoc, which could be completely disassembled so that they could be transported in a modestly sized hoist.