The Art of The Building Site Construction and Demolition from the 16th to the 21st Century

from November 9, 2018 to March 11, 2019

Upper Gallery of Temporary Exhibitions

How Western Man has seen, designed and imagined the place where building occurs since the Renaissance. The great diversity of observers, the plurality of images and the different audiences they turn to show that this is a powerful theme, which is far broader than the fields of architecture and technique.

The exhibition juxtaposes different viewpoints. It brings together a collection of works and documents produced by artists, journalists and amateurs, but also those who work in situ: engineers, architects, contractors and – what is rarer – labourers, through votive offerings or masterpieces produced by the Compagnons charpentiers des Devoirs du Tour de France. The exhibition ends with the statements of three contemporary architect-engineers: Patrick Bouchain, Marc Mimram and Martin Rauch, for whom the building site is ever increasingly the space where architecture meets complexity, inventiveness and the aspirations of the modern-day world.

As the result of close collaboration between specialists of art and specialists of techniques, this exhibition offers a diverse interpretation of the theme: it casts a light on the technical dimension, as well as the social, political and artistic dimensions. The path begins with what you would expect to find on a site: construction processes, machines, and men at work. It then highlights the political and social issues about the place that is being built. Even though the site is a highly technical area, it is also a theatre for those in charge, who like to show themselves there, and for the labourers, who are sometimes viewed as oppressed masses, sometimes viewed as heroes.


Upper gallery of temporary exhibitions
1 place du Trocadéro and 11 November
Paris 16th
Metro Trocadero

Open every day except Tuesday
from 11am to 7pm
Nocturne on Thursdays until 9pm

Full price: 9€
Reduced rate: 6€

  • Curating

    Valérie Nègre
    Professor, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

    Marie-Hélène Contal
    Associate Curator,
    Director of Cultural Development, Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine

  • Suports

    Bouygues Bâtiment Île-de-France is the main sponsor of the exhibition.
    It benefits from Saint-Gobain's sponsorship, the support of Autodesk and the Club entreprises de la Cité