Some information and key figures:
- Total area: 4518sq
- Exhibition space area: 2928sq
- Use: exhibition, performances and representation spaces. Work and research spaces.
- Opening: 2016
History and initial purpose
La Mécanique Générale was originally a large workshop dedicated to mechanical works and machines repairs.
Built at the same time as the Parc des Ateliers, the building, formerly called an assembly workshop, was transformed in the 1940s and became La Mécanique Générale. This large workshop with modern machine tools was described as large, well-lit, and heated in winter by warm-air blowers.
At the time, La Mécanique Générale comprised a repair center for machine tools and equipment, as well as a workshop for repairing electric winding motors.
The usual mechanical work was mostly done there.
La Mécanique Générale was the second building renovated by Selldorf Architects. The redesign was almost total in order to transform the place into a flexible and modular space.
Cut open following a fire in 1986, La Mécanique Générale was the second building renovated by Selldorf Architects. The structure required an almost total redesign to be transformed into an exhibition space.
Since the idea was to create a flexible space while preserving the heart and soul of the place, some elements of its original industrial architecture have been kept, such as the steel columns and consoles, as well as the concrete floors.
To facilitate the exhibition of monumental works, a modern extension offers a height of 20 meters without columns. The black concrete façade and zinc roof of the extension contrast with the renovated stucco façade and the new tiled roof of the historic structure.
Inaugurated in 2016, the building now consists of a modular space hosting exhibitions and performances, as well as a workspace.
Opened to the public in 2016, the building of La Mécanique Générale has a total area of 4520sq, including 2930sq dedicated to exhibitions, performances or representations.
The space hosted, among others, the performances of Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project company, in 2016, and the major retrospective “Gilbert & George. The Great Exhibition (1971–2016)”, in 2018.