wilmotte & associés' grand palais ephémère stands in paris as an ephemeral palace

Aug 23, 2021

photographer jad sylla captures the grand palais ephémère following its completion in paris by french architecture practice wilmotte & associés. the ‘ephemeral’ project was inaugurated in june of 2021, and will stand as a temporary structure during the restoration of the historic grand palais, built in 1900 for the paris exposition. during the three years that it is expected to stand, the grand palais éphémère will host the major events which are usually held inside the original, monumental building right across the seine. situated between the ecole militaire and the eiffel tower, the volume rises 20 meters, or 65 feet — a height that is at once generous and respectful of its context as it does not rise above the adjacent school. it is designed to host a range of flexible programming, with a modular structure that can be reused and reassembled in multiple configurations following its eventual removal.

the wilmotte & associés-designed grand palais ephémère is realized in paris with an expressive structure and materiality. the forty-four monumental timber arches are celebrated and expressed, wrapped in a translucent textile skin. this modular strategy further contributes to the project’s ease of construction — it was completed in only three months time. further, the use of sustainable materials and a structure that is easy to disassemble renders the grand palais a symbol of contemporary values. while its form echoes the 19th century ideas of grandeur seen through the grand palais and even london’s crystal palace, the design strategies are wholly in line with the environmental imperatives of the 21st century.

project info:

project title: grand palais ephémère

architecture: wilmotte & associés

location: paris, france

developer & contractor: GL events GPE

engineers: chabanne ingénierie

etudes acoustiques: lamoureux acoustics

control and coordination: socotec construction

photography: © jad sylla photography | @jfsylla