Riders on the Paris Métro, famous for its classic Art Nouveau style and white tile walls, can take a special journey to the steampunk past as envisioned by novelist Jules Verne. All that is required is a metro ticket and a stop at the Arts et Métiers station on line 11 in the 3rd arrondissement.The white tile is replaced by shining copper walls and portholes with views into the history of mechanical achievements. As gears and mechanisms drop from the ceiling, the imagination is transported out of the subway and into an underwater submarine.
Arts et Métiers station, Paris – A partnership between the Paris Métro and the Musée des Arts et Métiers has transformed a white tile covered station into a gleaming copper submarine.
Jules Verne, one of France’s iconic writers, was famous for his ability to create a vision of the future through his writing. To celebrate this French cultural visionary, the City of Paris partnered with the mechanical museum Musée des Arts et Métiers to create a full-scale version of the Nautilus, the fictional submarine in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. This partnership celebrates the museum’s extensive collection of historical mechanical instruments and equipment as well as its archive of the papers of Jules Verne. The immersive art installation serves as a gateway to the museum extending its impact into public space and to thousands of daily riders. The walls of copper sheets and rivets punctuated by marine brass fittings complete the detailed submarine theme. Portholes invite travelers to peer into a different era in mechanical history from bridge construction to astronomical instruments.
Arts et Métiers station, Paris – Portholes designed by the group of artists known as Bleu Méthylène highlight examples of the Museum’s extensive collection of mechanical devices and innovations.
Redesigned in 1994 by the Belgian artist François Schuiten, the Arts et Métiers station is a highly successful example of the power of partnerships between institutions leveraged to create stunning public space. By creating an immersive visual experience this design transforms the public space, breaks visitors out of their daily routine, and creates a memorable connection with the museum. The Museum, Métro, and public all benefit from an art experience that is innovative and all-encompassing.
Arts et Métiers station, Paris – Subway systems that leverage partnerships can create a connection with local institutions that delight riders.