Grand Palais Ephémère

Paris, France

Contracting authority

RMN (Réunion des musées nationaux)

Construction, design, technical maintenance, agent


Project Management Team

Building and Civil Engineering/ Construction Economist: CHABANNES INGÉNIERIE
Control office / Safety and health protection coordinator: SOCOTEC
Fire safety: CSD


10 000 sq.m
Length of main nave: 145 m
Secondary nave length: 140 m
Great width: 51 m
Building height: 20 m


Construction of a temporary building by GL EVENTS VENUES for the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais and Paris 2024, installed on the Champ-de-Mars at the beginning of 2021, until the end of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During the renovation of the Grand Palais, the building will host the major art, fashion and sports events usually held in the Nave (Biennale Paris, FIAC, Art Paris Art Fair, Art Capital, Saut Hermès, Paris Photo, Révélations and the Chanel fashion shows), as well as cultural and artistic events designed by the Rmn - Grand Palais.

Installed on the Joffre plateau of the Champ-de-Mars, between the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire, the Grand Palais Ephémère reconnects with the history of this site, which witnessed the Universal Exhibitions and the great popular festivals of the 19th and 20th centuries.

To meet the demand for a light structure and to meet urban and environmental challenges, wood was chosen for the framework and the frame. Composed of prefabricated elements in the workshop, complete sections of the structure were pre-assembled in the workshop, which allowed for faster assembly and less disturbance for the local residents. The profile of the structural arches works in compression to minimise the mass of timber used. The glulam structure also provides an answer to acoustic insulation. The Grand Palais Ephémère is also made of concrete and glass.

Since there was no question of cutting down a single tree on the Champ-de-Mars, nor even of moving the statue of Marshal Joffre located opposite the Ecole Militaire, it was necessary to imagine a sober and discreet structure, exemplary in terms of urban ecology.

Jean-Michel Wilmotte


The urban and aesthetic integration of the structure was a major challenge, as the architectural object had to be in keeping with the site where it is located. Respecting the compositional axis of the Champ-de-Mars, the Grand Palais Ephémère was built on the Joffre plateau, reaching a height of 20 metres, which is strictly necessary for its operation, while leaving the École Militaire to dominate 16 metres higher.

The structure is composed of two naves, one of 150m and the other of 130m, the crossing of which is composed of two 65m arches erected as keystones. The nave located in the axis of the Champ-de-Mars has three 30m arches for the wing facing the Military School and 15 for the wing facing the Eiffel Tower.

The upper part of the structure is covered with an opaque PVC membrane, while the sides are closed by a transparent membrane, both of which are environmentally friendly: the former is reusable and the latter is 100% recyclable.

The Grand Palais Ephémère was designed as a sum of modular elements that can be reborn in many new forms in other places. It is thus an example of sustainable architecture for events "outside the walls".