Building site open to public

Almost every day over a period of three years, Ianna Andréadis took photos of the Quai Branly Museum in the course of its construction.   She shared the workmen’s daily lives and kept a passionate record of the various stages that the building site underwent, from the removal of the first clod to the installation of the artworks.

Ianna Andréadis has followed the construction of the museum since 2003; every metamorphosis that the building underwent aroused her curiosity and made her adjust her gaze.    Her book preserves the memory of this great Parisian building site, which has given life to Jean Nouvel’s vision and has ensured that the Quai Branly Museum is a faithful transcription of the architect’s original vision.  It looks back over the six years of a great architectural symphony in which more than fifty specialised workers laboured together within a single unit of space, time and action.

Although very different from each other, each of them constituted the acts of this huge opera, responding to particular demands, obeying an inherent logic, revealing the intended building stroke by stroke and gradually, almost mysteriously, contributing to the harmony of the whole.  They constituted its multiple facets, offering themselves to the viewers’ gaze like so many architectural forms not one of which is like another. A living wall, a glass palisade, a restaurant roof in the shape of a dragonfly’s wing, the sun-shade on the Auvent building, the twisted facade to the garden gallery for temporary exhibitions and even boxes that project into the garden space

Gradually, the metal beams, the concrete cores and steel structures were covered over and the museum’s entire technical environment was wiped out, deliberately concealed from view.  At haphazard times during the construction process, Ianna Andreadis was able to seize the moment, which could be unusual, or poetic, and which already formed part of the Museum’s past.  

It’s her unique witness that is provided here


192 pages 21 cm x 15 cm (Italian style)

440 colour photos

price : 25 €

Isbn 2-915133-29-8 / 2-7557-0171-4

A co-publication by musée du quai Branly/Panama

buy this book online


Ianna Andreadis is a contemporary artist with a passion for photography and architecture. This project is primarily hers and she has successfully presented a personal and humane vision of the building site in this book. This book is intended for all those who would like to know what took place behind the hoardings around the Quai Branly Museum.