Château de Versailles, France

Architect Dominique Perrault has designed a new gateway to the Chateau de Versailles, to provide a modern introduction to history for the 7.5 annual visitors. 

The Dufour Pavilion has recently been renovated to offer a more functional, aesthetic and modern facility for tourists. In-between a 150-seat auditorium and a gift shop, a light filled gallery has been created, which features large golden waves made of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.

The renovation began in September 2015. The design required a more functional space whilst maintaining the beauty of the historic building. The building was designed by architect Alexandre Dufour on the death of Louis XV, to give symmetry to Versailles, the pavilion today plays a key role in welcoming the public.

The main reception area, the first room that visitors see on entering the palace, has been reworked. Spaces have been redefined, the architects focused on three areas; the floor, ceiling and chandeliers. The luminaires have a central place in the new development and the material of choice was brass, a copper alloy with a golden appearance that brings elegance, harmony and brightness to the Pavilion.

Brass was also specified for the custom-made furniture. With its malleability, brass has created golden curves, and flat areas, that highlight the arches and the building’s original architecture. Other brass components will be installed in the pavilion, like signage lettering and restaurant furniture.

So, brass participates in the creation of a new Versailles, shining and draped in gold. A luxurious and modern echo of historic Versailles of wood and stone.



Completion date: 
Zip code: 
Place d'Armes


Type of building: 
National monuments
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
Dominique Perrault Architecte
Address & description: 
6 Rue Bouvier , 75011 Paris. Dominique Perrault est diplômé de l’Ecole nationale supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette. Deux réalisations le font connaître : le bâtiment de l’ESIEE (école d’ingénieurs en électrotechnique et électronique) à Marnes-la-Vallée, et l’hôtel industriel Berlier, à Paris. Mais en remportant le concours pour la Bibliothèque Nationale de France (appelée aujourd’hui Bibliothèque François Mitterrand) à Paris, la renommée de Dominique Perrault devient mondiale. A l’étranger, ses réalisations les plus remarquables sont le vélodrome et la piscine olympique de Berlin, l’université féminine Ewha à Séoul, l’extension de la cour de justice des communautés européennes à Luxembourg, la tour Fukoku à Osaka au Japon et le pont d’Arganzuela à Madrid.

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Nick Hay

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