From the Lutèce thermal baths to the medieval town house of the Abbots of Cluny, the museum is situated on a protected site with historic monument status. The Cluny 4 upgrade project has enabled the restoration of two emblematic buildings in the history of Paris: the remains of the ancient thermal baths and the chapel of the Hôtel de Cluny. The restoration campaign, split into two separate projects, was conducted under the direction of Paul Barnoud, Chief Architect for Historic Monuments, between 2015 and 2017.
The chapel at the town house of the Abbots of Cluny (Hôtel de Cluny) is one of the few remaining examples of Parisian Flamboyant Gothic architecture.
It was built in the late 15th century and had become severely encrusted, making it very hard to see its decorative painting and sculpture.
The restoration carried out in 2015—2016 revealed traces of color on the decorative sculpture, as well as a host of details in the Italian-inspired painted murals. This cleaning also revealed an exceptional range of blue-green colors in the depths of the jack arches on top of the chapel and on the tambour of the spiral staircase. The few fragments of stained glass were also cleaned and lozenge-shaped windows fitted in the rest of the bays.
The restoration of the East and North façades consisted of removing any encrustation from the walls and partially repointing some of the masonry. Gutters were also fitted to protect them from water runoff.
The Lutèce ancient thermal baths have had several different uses throughout their history. Having been permanently occupied by humans, they remain an exceptional example of Gallo-Roman construction and ways of life. Nevertheless, these remains were severely weakened by wind and rain.
Certain elevations, left open to the elements, had clear signs of weakness.
The restoration conducted in 2016-2017 enabled the masonry to be cleaned in order to fortify the elevations and several different mortars to be identified, some of them ancient. The so-called Roman annex building was covered, while the remaining ruins were protected from bad weather by lead roofing.
The so-called “salle des enduits”, which has retained some of its ancient polychrome plaster work, was a particular focus: Lead roofing was also fitted to avoid any leakage and the natural light was enhanced through the installation of a peripheral glass roof.
This campaign took place after the 2009 restoration of the plaster work and interior decoration of the frigidarium.