The Bibliothèque nationale de France - Dominique Perrault

Portrait of a project (1988-1998)

This book proposes a journey through the history and challenges of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, from its conception to its inauguration. Through six themes, numerous essays, interviews and over 600 images, it traces the adventure of this unique project, imagined and built by Dominique Perrault.

Collection: Hors collection
Theme(s): Architecture
Language(s): English
45,00 €


A portrait

Organized into six themes, the book sketches the portrait of a building emblematic of our modernity. Built around interviews and essays, it reveals the challenges linked to its creation and bears witness to a history marked by intense debates. The questions of structure, itinerary, visibility, protection, uses and identity run through and connect the different essays and accounts. The question here is to cross views that undertake, in the past and the present, a critical reflection in the perception and history of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.


A project

Beyond the history, the book highlights and illustrates the many experiments undertaken by Dominique Perrault. The first example of an architecture of the “Groundscape”: an underground architecture envisaged as a field of exploration able to redefine the nature of our cities’ territories, the reader discovers a unique ensemble of documents: sketches, technical drawings, photographs, photomontages, digital or hand-drawn perspectives, study and competition models, material samples. From the architectural object to the territory, from the garden to the furniture, the work relates the slightest details from its conception to its execution.


The challenges of a critical edition

Publishing a project monograph on the BnF, on the occasion of the 20 anniversary of the opening of the BnF’s research rooms to the public, makes it possible to present a critical edition tracing the adventure of ideas, concepts and methods imagined by Dominique Perrault to design a 21st-century library. The work proposes a different view of the building: a place, a public space for work and mediation equal to the digital revolution, the history of a library in the era of the new medias.


Edited by: Frédéric Migayrou

Authors : Dominique Perrault, Frédéric Migayrou, Jacqueline Sanson, Richard Rogers, Peter Buchanan, Anthony Vidler, Barry Bergdoll, Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou, Michael Jakob, Stéphane Laurent, Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost, Laurence Engel.


P 6 The Fall of the Wall, Dominique Perrault P 8 Architecture in extenso, Destinies of the codex, Frédéric Migayrou P 26 A retrospective history, Discussion Frédéric Migayrou and Dominique Perrault P 54 The project for a library. P 56 From a “Library Project” to the BnF, Jacqueline Sanson P 74 Competition study and submission P 92 Text of the international competition of ideas, Dominique Perrault, June 1989 P 102 Interview with Richard Rogers. Conducted by Peter Buchanan, London, December 16, 1994 P 104 Books in Space. Tradition and Transparency in the Bibliothèque de France, Anthony Vidler P 112 The Square and the Cloister. Interview with Dominique Perrault published in 1990 in issue no. 62 of the review Le Débat P 118 “The glass library”. The BnF in the American and British press, Barry Bergdoll P 126 Architectural program and conception P 128 Describe, Measure, Quantify. The Bibliothèque nationale de France, an open origin, Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou P 140 Design phases P 224 The urban studies P 240 The construction site P 290 The garden, the forest P 292 The oxymoronic heart of the BnF, Michael Jakob P 304 Design and studies P 328 Implementation P 344 The library interiors P 346 The temptation of the sublime, the interiors of the BnF, Stéphane Laurent P 360 Furniture design and studies P 374 The places of the BnF P 412 Conversation Frédéric Migayrou, Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost and Dominique Perrault P 424 The library now P 426 The BnF now, Laurence Engel p 436 Detailed timeline P 440 Bibliography P 449 Monographs, Dominique Perrault P 450 Biographies


  • 45,00 €
  • Language(s): English
  • Référence:
  • Nombre de pages: 456
  • Couleur(s): quadri, 600 illustrations
  • Type de reliure: hard cover
  • Dimensions: 1 × 24 × 30 cm
  • Poids: 2600 g
  • Partenaire: Emerige endowment fund