Museum of Natural History, Paris Competition

Type: Landscape Architecture Competition
Location: Museum of Natural History, Paris
Size: 9500sqm
Photographer: Hanna Digital Design
Completed: 2023

Our concept for the LA+ EXOTIQUE design competition reimagines the Museum of Natural History’s forecourt, inspired by its history and the Jardins des Plantes. The expansive yet overlooked space adjacent to the museum presents an opportunity for a transformative landscape. Our design, blending organic shapes with the Beaux-Arts architectural style, pays homage to the museum’s significance while infusing a contemporary feel that reflects ongoing research on life’s evolution.

Central to the design is a prominent mound housing a sunken reflection pool, embodying the museum’s emphasis on self-reflection and understanding change. This pool invites contemplation and engagement with broader themes, encouraging visitors to ponder colonialism, taxonomy, endemism, and exoticism. Surrounding the mound are meticulously crafted terraces and lush garden beds, providing spaces for relaxation and appreciation of nature’s beauty. These elements not only honour the Jardins des Plantes but also elevate the forecourt’s aesthetics.

The design focuses on user experience, inviting visitors to pause and immerse themselves in the surroundings. Moreover, a raised amphitheatre with a semi-covered green roof adds versatility, transforming the forecourt into a dynamic space suitable for diverse activities, from educational lectures to vibrant outdoor performances.

We acknowledge and pay respects to Traditional Owners across Australia and the Torres Strait as the original custodians of these unceded lands.

We recognize and respect Traditional Owners continued connection to the land, water, sky and people, and their responsibilities of caring for Country.

We pay respects to Elders past and present whose knowledge and wisdom ensures the continuation of culture and traditional practices, and we appreciate their guidance when it is shared with us.