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Le Palais Guimet Proposal

Le Palais Guimet Proposal

In 2018, Snøhetta along with Chatillon architectes and dUCKS scéno submitted a proposal for the competition for the rehabilitation and transformation of the historic Palais Guimet in the 6th arrondissement in Lyon, France. 

Ever since it was founded in 1879 by the Lyon-born fine-arts connoisseur and globetrotter, Emile Guimet, the Palais Guimet has been a cultural and social hub for the Lyonnais, serving consecutively as a museum with a restaurant and brasserie, an ice rank and a museum of natural science until it was closed to public in 2007. 

By turning the space into l’Atelier de la Danse – a space for creation and performance, the building reconnects with its cultural past and becomes an artistic venue for both the public and performers. The space will also house the Service Archéologique Municipal, the municipality’s archeological service, which will add a new dimension to the building through education and research.

The competition was won by Atelier D'Architecture Pierre Hebbelinck.

Interior, Renovation & Expansion, Performance Space, Architecture

2017 - 2018


Completed Competition


Lyon, France


City of Lyon


6,300 m2

Following Guimet’s vision of creating a space that evokes the sense of travelling to far-away destinations to explore new cultures and societies, the proposal outlines a new, cultural renewal for the Palais Guimet when it reopens in 2021. 

Snøhetta and collaborators Chatillon architectes and dUCKS scéno’s proposal pays respect to the original features of the original Palais Guimet.

By merging old and new, and creating a clear distinction between preserved and added, the proposal aims to ameliorate the existing features of the building, among other by improving light conditions through natural and artificial light and material choices. 

The team has also worked to improve the spaces within the existing constructions by emphasizing open-space solutions and reorganizing the circulation through the building. These features add flexibility to the space, making it ideal for both private and public events that will provide a new cultural dimension to the city of Lyon.