Hôtel de la Marine
The monumental Hôtel de la Marine is located in one of Paris’ most famous squares, the Place de la Concorde, between the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries gardens. It has been carefully restored in an extensive, high-quality project that has brought the site back to its original splendour, replicating the atmosphere of the 18th century while creating a new cultural hub for Paris.
Funding for the project came partly from the French government and several private sponsors, but for the most part from a bank loan. Revenue generated from retail sales, fees from various concessions of the site and advertising on the monument’s scaffolding during the works, all contributed to financing the project. However, most of the funding came from leasing workspaces to a co-working firm, which will in turn repay the loan. The innovative business model of the Centre des monuments nationaux CMN (National Centre for Monuments) has therefore had a minimal impact on public finances.
The Hôtel de la Marine dates to the mid-18th century. Until 1789, the palace housed the royal department that managed the royal furnishings (Garde-Meuble de la Couronne). In that year, it became the Navy Ministry’s headquarters until 2015, when the CMN was entrusted with managing and restoring the building.
From 2017 to 2021, the CMN carried out a complex restoration project that covered the entire 12,700m² surface area of the monument. Significant work was done to meticulously restore its decorative elements, while the original layout and structure was also reinstated. Special attention was paid to reusing the original materials to the greatest extent possible. Over 60 trades in crafts were called upon and 1,000 tradespeople and restorers worked on the project.
Approximately half of the building is now accessible to visitors with part of the interior also redeveloped to make it accessible for people with reduced mobility. The central Cour d’honneur can be entered for free, which provides a pathway from Place de la Concorde to Rue Royale. Visitors can also visit the apartments of the Intendant of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, dating to the mid-18th century, the French Navy’s grand salons of the 19th century, and the Al Thani gallery in the former upholstery warehouse. A restaurant, café and bookshop have also opened there.
“The outstanding restoration project of the Hôtel de la Marine is characterised by its exceptional quality and a genuine commitment to preserving the authenticity of the interior decoration, with special attention also paid to incorporating original furniture from the time period, made possible through the collaboration with the Mobilier National, the agency for the collection of state furniture. This integration of historical elements adds an extra layer of authenticity and contributes to the overall immersive experience for visitors”, the Awards’ Jury commented.
“The large-scale project encompasses mixed functions that cater to the cultural needs of Parisians and tourists alike, serving as a powerful example for the revitalisation of similar buildings. The restoration is also notable for its innovative financing model”, the Jury concluded.
Contact: presse@monuments-nationaux | www.hotel-de-la-marine.paris