Just across the Pont de Sully bridge, which connects the charming Île Saint-Louis to the rest of Paris, lies a unique place waiting to be discovered. Guests of the Hotel de la Tour Maubourg who wish to know how Paris came to be will be delighted by the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, a ‘center of information’ devoted to Parisian architecture and urban projects.
One of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal‘s most interesting features is a special installation created by the Google Cultural Institue: an oversize Liquid Galaxy display made up of 48 screens and measuring a total of 40 square meters. This unique display is the first of its kind and can only be seen at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal. Not only can visitors simulate an around-the-world ‘flight,’ they can also see future urban projects planned for Paris. The interactive installation includes 3D models that illustrate what the new buildings will look like, allowing visitors to envision Paris in 2020.
Aside from housing this quirky digital display, the Pavillon de l’Arsenal tells the story of Paris’s construction and development over the years. The evolution of important projects like Les Halles and the Métro can be discovered through videos, images, documents, blueprints and models. Previous only devoted to the city of Paris, this space has recently enlarged its focus to the Île-de-France region, which also covers neighboring regional departments like Essonne and Hauts-de-Seine. While few tourists ever venture beyond the confines of the city’s center, those who are curious to see more should visit the little-known Pavillon de l’Arsenal to discover how the locals really live.