> The Cluny museum > A 21st century museum


In 2015, an immense upgrade project began in order to bring the museum into the 21st century. Since July 14, 2018, visitors have been able to enjoy a brand new building designed by the architect Bernard Desmoulin.

NOTE: the museum will be fully closed from September 29, 2020. Come back in early 2022 for a brand-new museum! 

Visible from boulevard Saint-Michel and accessible from rue Du Sommerard, the new reception area lends the museum greater visibility and extension and includes all the facilities expected of a modern museum.

Improving visitor and working conditions

The museum, a combination of ancient, medieval and 19th century buildings, often felt like something between a maze and an obstacle course. The many staircases and changes in level made it impossible for people with reduced mobility to access it. Bernard Desmoulin’s new building now connects these different levels and buildings thanks to the installation of ramps and elevators.

The reception area of the museum

The extension has also improved the reception areas, with a new ticketing area and a more spacious bookstore/gift shop. It also includes spaces that allow the museum to better fulfill its different purposes, such as artwork management facilities, educational areas and rooms for temporary exhibitions.

A building that blends into its surroundings

Following a minimal-impact approach, the new building has simple volumes, its gables following the same pattern as the ancient elevations. The façades are clad in cast-iron panels of uneven sizes and textures, which catch the light and change color depending on the time of day.

The cast-iron panels

The large swathes of metal guipure pick up on a motif featured in the stone filigree on the Flamboyant Gothic chapel of the medieval town house, resonating directly with the history of the site. These motifs diffuse a graphic yet gentle light into the building, its heavy use of wood and concrete echoing the materials in the ancient thermal baths and the medieval town house.