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Revoir Paris l'Exposition

Revoir Paris l'Exposition is an exposition in La Cité de l'Architecture & du Patrimoine in Paris that opened at November 20, 2014. It gives a view on the architectural history of Paris seen through the prism of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. The exhibition will be held until March 9, 2015.

The idea of ​​this exhibition, which takes place in the “Cathedral” of La Cité de l'Architecture & du Patrimoine, is to engage in lively manner a set of old or recent utopian representations of Paris (drawings, paintings, models) and the many images made by François Schuiten around Paris: the metro station Arts et Metiers, the novel by Jules Verne Paris in the twentieth century, the Greater Paris project, but especially from the comic strip currently under realization, Revoir Paris.

According to François Schuiten “It will be a tribute to those that have marked the history of this city. But the end will be very futuristic…1).

Two centuries of urban visions

François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters: “The comic book has always had close links with architecture. But in the album series Les Cités obscures, we gave it a dominating role. Playing with the signs of yesterday’s modernity, we presented a world in the past future in which urban fabrics and temporal layers are intertwined. Paris appears in them under the name Pâhry, alongside imaginary cities like Samaris, Urbicande and Calvani.

Paper dreams sometimes approach the most concrete realities. This was the case in 1994 with the Arts et Métiers metro station, designed as a sort of underground Nautilus. And in 2009, with a group of illustrations proposing a metaphorical vision of Grand Paris, they are presented here for the first time.

Our new comic book, Revoir Paris, is even more prospec- tive. The story takes place in the middle of the 22nd century. The heroine, a young woman named Kârinh, has always lived in a remote space colony. Defining herself as a utopiomaniac, she recreated the City of Light from images as fragile as they are contradictory…

The exhibition’s aim is to hold a dialogue between our work and the projects of architects and urban planners created over the last two centuries. Horeau, Perret, Le Corbusier and many others attempted to reinvent Paris pragmatically and provocatively. A journey to the land of possibilities, Revoir Paris is the occasion to freely dream about the capital’s future.

The exhibition Revoir Paris l'Exposition shows original creations by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, curators and designers of the exhibition. Fans of new technologies are lucky as augmented reality experiences is integrated into the scenery! 2)

The exhibition costs about 350.000 euros to build 3).

Announcement Revoir Paris Announcement Revoir Paris

The exhibition revoir Paris is presented in parallel to the exhibition about Viollet-le-Duc, whose romantic and sometimes chimerical vision of Paris joined the imagination of these other great “utopiomanes”: Jules Verne and Robida. Many synergies can be imagined between the two exhibitions 4)

Design for Revoir Paris by François Schuiten

Scenography of the exhibition

The exhibition takes place in the « Cathédrale » space of the Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine.

Working document of the plan of the Revoir Paris exhibition


The start of the exhibition presents the huge painting of Victor Navlet, a general view of Paris taken from the Observatory (1855, Musée d'Orsay, NMR). This painting provides a general representation of Paris just before the great works of Haussmann 5).

Victor Navlet, a general view of Paris taken from the Observatory

1. Métamorphoses capitales

The Haussmannisation was a kind of utopia, but immediately realized that a point as his visionary appearance escapes us essentially. But we can not bypass this essential aspect of the metamorphoses of Paris, especially since he has left strong traces in the drawings by François Schuiten.

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2. à la Recontre du Monde

The universal Exhibitions, especially those of 1889 and 1900, have proposed strong visions of Paris, partly ephemeral, permanent for others. They helped shape the face of Paris, in its theatricality and its oddities.

3. Une Métropole en mouvement

The city transformed by the car and metro. The transformations of the grand boulevards. The reveries around traffic and new means of transport.

Une Métropole en mouvement

4. Le regard Aérien

The ballon and the plane change deeply look on big cities and particularly Paris. Henceforth, planners favor major roads and advocate for high-rise buildings.

5. Au-delà des Enceintes

Paris has continues to widen in exceeding its successive boundaries, but they remain very present in the structure of the city. Peripheral and continues today to draw a break between twenty districts and suburbs.

6. L'esprit de l'Utopie

In years 1950 and 1970, utopian projects for Paris multiply. The year 2000 is dreaming, with its suspended towns, urban freeways and flying machines.

L'esprit de l'Utopie

7. Une Ville-Monde, La Grand Paris et au-delà

Le Grand Paris and beyond, today, tomorrow, after tomorrow.

Paris sous cloche by François Schuiten

Paris, un voyage dans le temps

Discover three iconic Parisian landmarks as they were in the past and as such François Schuiten imagine them in the future:

  • Notre Dame
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • La Defense

Revoir Paris 3D by Schuiten

The 3D designs are made by the institute Passion for Innovation of Dassault Systèmes. Their collaboration started with the La Douce album. This time Dassault Systemes made 3D projections of these three monuments, showing how these monuments will look like in the future projected by François Schuiten.

Revoir Paris 3D by Schuiten Revoir Paris 3D by Schuiten

Visitors to the exhibition can help change the Parisian monument of their choice, venturing into the more distant past as in a hypothetical future designed by François Schuiten. This device is indicated by circular interactive projection screen, controlled directly by the visitor from a touch table.

See also: Paris, un voyage dans le temps

Revoir Paris 3D by Schuiten Revoir Paris 3D by Schuiten

Metaphorical vision of Greater Paris

In 2009, François Schuiten realized at the request of Christian Blanc a dozen major unpublished drawings, illustrating a metaphorical vision of Greater Paris. Some of them were published during the presentation by Guy Amsellem of la Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine. 6)

Les HLM en forme d’arbres d’Aulnay-sous-Bois by François Schuiten

Les ponts habités de la Défense by François Schuiten

L’île de la Cité by François Schuiten

La planète Paris by François Schuiten


The background music played during the exhibition is made by Bruno Letort.

Catalog & picture book

With the exposition a catalog of the exposition has been published. The catalog has 96 pages and costs 27 euro 7). At the same time "IMAGES – François Schuiten" has been published. It is a 32 pages large sized (30×40 cm) book, with only illustrations realised by François.


November 5th, 2014, Casterman has released a new album by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters with the same title 8). Although it is a joined project by Schuiten and Peeters it is not one in the Obscure Cities series.

See for more information: Revoir Paris

Cover of Revoir Paris l'Exposition