© Ateliers Yves Lion
The need to enlarge the spaces dedicated to permanent exhibitions and to create a room dedicated to temporary exhibitions was the starting point of a second period of renovation and of enlargement for the castle. The reopening of the museum is planned for the beginning of the year 2016.
An achitectural project of extension
After a first extension added to the museum in 1989, the Minister of culture and of communication/direction of French museums and the association The American Friends of Blérancourt Inc. decided to start a new renovation and extension phase.
Officially announced in September 2003, this project was aimed at increasing the space reserved for the permanent collections. The project was handed to Yves Lion and Alan Lewitt, the two architects in charge of the first phase of renovation (revonation and extension of the Pavilion Florence Gould) whose achievement was awarded with the Equerre d’argent prize in 1989.
The project consists of the restoration of the Gould pavilion and of the Historical pavilion with the building up of an extension making the junction between the north and south aisles, thanks to a building in the shape of a nave that continues all the way to the back of the terrace. Total continuity, respectful of the various constructions, will be assured between the different parts of the museum.
The simplicity and purity of this shape fits perfectly with the classicism of the site all the while affirming its modernity. Two great glass façades will let in light and softness to the new building.
The architects took care to maintain a permanent link between the building and the countryside.
The development of the architectural project continued in 2005 but work had to be stopped due to the discovery of important archaeological remains that had to be examined until 2013. These discoveries completely changed the architectural project so as to include the remains in the modern architecture.
The restoration projects thus began in autumn 2013 with the consolidation of the archaeological remains and continued into spring 2014 with the Yves Lion worksite and will go on until autumn 2015.
Work installing the museum will pick up where the restoration projects left off in order to house the artwork and reopen to the public at the beginning of 2016.
The reopening of the pavilions in 2011
At the same time, and thanks to a philanthropic donation from the French Friends of the Blérancourt Museum, the renovation of the two pavilions classed as Historical Monuments was begun. This allowed the Salon decorated by Anne Morgan in 1924 to be reopened to the public and it allowed the equipment of the research library, located in the second pavilion, to be updated.
Financing the current projects
The renovation projects can be accomplished thanks to joint financing from the Minister of Culture and Communication and philanthropic donations from the United States coupled with the Florence Gould fund by The American Friends of Blérancourt Inc. The total cost of the operation is 4,500,000 euros before taxes, of which 1,694,000 euros has been provided by The American Friends of Blérancourt.