French national library garden, site Richelieu

Water ripples

OPPIC, developer of heritage properties for the Culture ministry, wishes to create a garden as an art installation in the courtyard of the renovated Bibliothèque Nationale de France or BnF (national library), rue Vivienne, in the historical heart of Paris.The garden is organized according to a new grid based on the historic garden designed by Henri Labrouste. It is a combination of the previous courtyard center marked by the presence of chestnut trees and a new center which invites users to stroll and enter the library.The former fountain is removed and water is reintroduced as a symbol : a drawing on the ground of an ‘encyclie’ or a ripple – the circles or radial waves that form on the surface of water. It stretches as far as the Cour Tubeuf and the Cour d'Honneur.The circles are marked by high and low planting, underlined by a water mister, basalt stone and luminous glass objects carefully placed within the plants. This layered design also represents the tree vessels that transport water and sap.

To explore the site click on this link :  BNF RICHELIEU _ COUR VIVIENNE

Text by Nathalie Brevet

3D images : @Jean Thiriet

Project details

Paris - 75
1% artistique (public art grant) – design of a garden and an art installation in the national’s library courtyard, rue Vivienne
OPPIC / Ministry of Culture
Nathalie Brevet & Hughes Rochette (lead artists) – Niez Studio (landscape architecture)
475 K€
1 500 m2