National Library • Paris, France

After years of renovation, the historic site of the National Library of France reopens its doors to the book lovers and those who appreciate lavish interiors.

The architects made an excessive research to gather as much information as possible.
Located at Rue de Richelieu in Paris, the historic complex has been being renovated since 2011, when it was decided that it’s no longer suitable for the need of 21st century’s users. The works were split into two phases, with the second one to be completed in 2020. The library’s central book reserve was built in 1868. Several modifications were made later in the 1930s and 1950s, including two underground levels and five upper floors. Some of them, such as elevators, cladding, and unsightly drop ceilings, were unfortunate enough to be removed by the architect Bruno Gaudin. While Gaudin’s company was responsible for the general management of the restoration project, the renovation of the main reading room, ‘salle labrouste’, was given to Jean-François Lagneau, a specialist in historic objects. While the architects made an excessive research to gather as much information as possible, they also considered the ‘flow’ of the building, managing to complete the impressive history of the place with its modern additions.

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