Dominique Perrault Architecture


26 | 09 | 2016

the pavilion Dufour is now fully opened

Dominique Perrault completes the Pavilion Dufour at the Château de Versailles; Alain Ducasse's new restaurant, Ore, and the audfitorium are now open to the public.

Officially inaugurated last June by French President François Hollande, the Pavilion Dufour is now completed. Monday morning, during a press conference, Catherine Pégard, President of the Château de Versailles, said: “Dominique Perrault offers to Versailles all the comfort and the services of a great contemporary museum while preserving the Palace’s heritage”.

Combining restoration, renovation and contemporary intervention, Dominique Perrault’s created a new entrance to the Château, a reception gallery in the Pavilion Dufour, as well as an exit - a large  new outdoor staircase in the Courtyard, along the Old Wing. He also realized in the former Cisterns underneath the Princes Courtyard a new shop and services areas, and recently completed: Alain Ducasse’s new restaurant of 120 seats (second floor), and an auditorium of 150 seats (third floor).  The new definition of the Pavilion Dufour and the Old Wing is enhanced by the subtle contemporary treatment of the interiors developed by designer Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost, with a focus on three key areas: flooring, ceiling, and chandeliers. By utilizing metal throughout the space, the new design creates a unified look while highlighting the contemporary nature and strengthening the visibility of the intervention.

Alain Ducasse’s restaurant, Ore, is located in a string of rooms on the second floor of the Pavilion Dufour and the Old Wing. Its furniture and chandeliers come in russet and metallic hues, matching the color scheme of the building. In the Pavilion Dufour, the structural intervention needed to level the floors was used as an opportunity to redesign the period rooms. A set of gilded geometric surfaces was applied to the doorways and door bases, giving the rooms a more contemporary look.  In the Old Wing, the intervention took the more discreet form of a taupe tint, which was applied to the listed wood floors, paneling and woodwork. This homogeneous treatment, prescribed by Chief Architect in charge of Historical Monuments Frédéric Didier, bears the added bonus of honoring traditional usages.  The bar area tying the two spaces together has a mysterious atmosphere created by metallic onyx-colored mirroring and vertical light tubes.

The auditorium nestles under the mansard roof of the attic, where the existing dormer windows shine like lightboxes on the wood-sheathed roof break. Thanks to the wide splays surrounding them, the daylight coming in is tinged with gold.   Dominique Perrault said: “At the Pavilion Dufour, we have achieved a work of revelation. The dialogue between patrimonial and contemporary architectures is ambitious and requests patience, gentleness and sensitivity. With the respectful work completed by Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost and I, the Palace's heritage is preserved and Versailles' history goes on.”

Pavilion Dufour
The construction site