« Town Houses, a Parisian ambition » is an exhibition held out by the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, at the Palais de Chaillot, until 19 February 2012. The heading is clear : the exhibition displays the French life style, but Town houses mostly symbolize the Parisian longing for wealth and might.
With three different circuits, the exhibition introduces us to an architectural masterpiece.
The first circuit starts with the reconstruction of a town house, an invitation to ride through the rooms of this particular residence. A door opens to a vestibule, another leads to an antechamber or a closet. The tour ends at the portrait gallery with an impressive exhibition of paintings from renowned artists.
The second circuit is a journey back in time. Recounting the story of the most prestigious hotels from the Middle Ages to the Belle Epoque, the exhibition displays a vivid description of the Hotel de Cluny, the Palais Rose, the Hotel Lambert and the Hotel Thelusson. Models, paintings and sketches are illustrating the journey.
The third circuit describes the conflicting relationship between town houses and the city. It presents the internal and external architecture of the town houses and its gardens.
Chloé Buu-Hoï, December 2011
Translation : Laura Axel
Photo credits : Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine