Top 10 Modern Architecture Gems in Paris

Centre Pompidou

This art museum was designed by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers during an architectural design competition. The two architects wanted functional structural elements (such as electrical wires, pipes, etc.) to be outside the building. This way, the inside could be fully used to expose art. Nowadays we can say that the building is itself an artwork!

Top 10 Modern Architecture Gems in Paris pompidou_museum


The headquarters of the French Communist Party

Top 10 Modern Architecture Gems in Paris

Brasilian architect Oscar Niemeyer ended the construction of the building in 1971. For the dome, the construction was only ended in 1980. The building is considered in France as a “monument historique” since 2007, which means that it’s protected for being one of the national heritage sites.

Little fun fact: in this building was shot in 2013 a big part of the movie Blue Indigo (L’écume des jours in French), with Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.

Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière

Top 10 Modern Architecture Gems in Paris fouquets-Barriere

In 2006, architect Edouard François had to renovate the luxurious Hotêl Fouquet’s Barriere. he decided to recreate a typical Haussmannian facade in grey concrete. Thus the architecture of this building is a mix of historical and contemporary stuff.

Fondation Cartier for contemporary art


Architect Jean Nouvel inaugured this new building in 1994. On the esthetic plan, an essential place is given to the transparency and the reflection of the volumes on the walls. The garden is configured by Lothar Baumgarten. You can find 35 types of trees inside of it. Now the Fondation is hosting different exhibitions: photography, painting, sculpture, design etc.

Fondation Louis Vuitton



Fondation Louis Vuitton building was designed by architect Franck Gehry in 2014. It is located in Jardin d’Acclimatation, near Bois de Boulogne. It is made of concrete and of glass roof. it has been compared to a cloud, an iceberg and a ship.

In fact, the building is meant to outshine Fondation Pinault in Venise, also called Palazzo Grassi. There we can clearly see the concurrency between François Pinault and Bernard Arnault (the Chief Executive Officer of LVMH) in the luxury field.

Parc André-Citroën


The park was designed by architects Patrick Berger, Jean-François Jodry and Jean-Paul Viguier, but also by lanscape artists Gilles Clément and Allain Provost. It was created in 1986 and it’s the best place to admire luxuriant vegetation and nice fountains.

Cité de la mode et du design

Arts ludiques-Le Musee

The architect cabinet Jakob + Macfarlane built this huge building in 2008. The project was to bring a contemporary style to this former industrial site. It is hosting since 2013 the Museum of playful Arts (Arts ludiques – Le Musée). The big green elevated terrace gives a nice point of vue on the river Seine.

The Louvre Pyramid



This is maybe the most famous gem of this top! It was built by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei and inaugured in 1989. The pyramid is made of metal and glass. It was a command from the French president Mitterand. It is said that this guy had an Egyptian mistress, the famous singer Dalida. So maybe can you do the connexion between this Egyptian girl and the pyramid?

Islamic Arts Wing, The Louvre


In Musée du Louvre, you can find a full department dedicated to Islamic Arts in cour Visconti. The exhibition spaces are under a window with a wavy form. It’s composed of 1600 glass triangles. It was designed in 2012 by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini. They say the window reminds them of a wing of a dragonfly or a magic carpet.

La Défense


OK, I’m a bit cheating for this last gem… But I promise it’s worth it! La Défense, the Central Business District of Paris is composed of a lot of buildings, that are master pieces of modern architecture. The highest one is Tour First, with 23m high. But there is also the famous Grande Arche…

And here is! It is the end of my top 10 gems of modern architecture in Paris! You now know all the main modern buildings of the capital city. I hope you will see some of them in your Parisian trip, it’s much more impressive when it’s really in front of you!

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