DPA Archives


An unprecedented approach to architectural archiving 
By accepting to deposit his archives in 1997 and again in 2004 while still fully active, Dominique Perrault initiated an unprecedented approach of close collaboration between architectural creation and its documentation for the future. He is one of the first, along with Roland Simounet and Paul Bossard to place his archives with the ANMT. Today, these archives are conserved among the papers of some fifty regional architects and recognized architects of national and international stature. The Perrault Papers, which represent over 30 m3, or some 291 linear meters, remain the property of DPA. 

A testament to the creative process behind the work
In 1997, Dominique Perrault decided to make an initial deposit of his archives “so that everyone could have access to the thousands of plans that were created for the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and which attest to the extraordinary human adventure this project represented.” When questioned about the content of this bestowal, Dominique Perrault justified the presence of related projects: “In addition to content related to the Bibliothèque, prior projects designed by the office were also included in order to ensure a comprehensive view of the nature of the experimental work that marked the architect’s role as contractor. In fact, certain elements integrated into the Bibliothèque already existed upstream from the project, which were adapted and developed for the Bibliothèque. Architect’s work follows a scientific process comprised of hypotheses, verifications, testing and references. It is a process that allows for further experimentation.”

A single location of conservation and consultation
At the Archives Nationales du Monde du Travail, the public will be able to consult, upon authorization, and under the best conditions the documents, i.e., writings, plans and designs covering all the phases of a project: sketchbook of details, correspondence between client and contractor, original plans on tracing paper used in printouts of plans kept in the files, presentation plans and sketches. “I’d like to know that architecture students can consult these archives,” Dominique Perrault added.

The Perrault Papers
The archives of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (1989-1995) constitute over half of the bestowment
Other projects:
- SOMELOIR (1981-1983)   - ESIEE (1984-1987)   - Beltway command post (1985-1987)   - Hôtel Industriel Berlier (1986-1990)   - SAGEP (1987-1993)   - “Louis Lumière” Housing (1988-1991)   - Hôtel du Département de la Meuse (1988-1994)   - Usinor-Sacilor Conference Centre (1989-1991)   - “Les Balcons du Canal” Housing (1989-1994)   - Denise René Art Gallery (1991)   - Domrémy Parking Garage (1992-1993)   - Centre Technique du Livre (1992-1995)   - Berlin Sports Hall (1992-1998)   - Diverse competitions

The precise inventory of documents in the Perrault paper as well as the conditions for access can be consulted on the web site of the ANMT: