Musée du Quai Branly

The Musée du Quai Branly, or Quai Branly Museum, is an art museum in Paris, located at Quai Branly. It displays cultures, art and antiquities from different parts of the world including Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania. The museum is a fairly recent creation, with the idea of constructing it, coming around in 1995. The preferred site for its construction was near the Eiffel Tower, at the bank of the Seine. The museum was completed in June 2006, and quickly became an attraction, mostly to the lovers of indigenous art.

While it was Jean Nouvel who designed the building, it is Patrick Blanc who receives the wider recognition due to his design of the green wall. Notably though, Nouvel’s design is bold, and incorporating an artistic curve which is consistent with the curved site chosen for the construction. The idea was to have the northern façade protected and what resulted was the idea of having a vertical garden created. Inspired by what happens in nature when there are plant growths on rock boulders, Blanc who has for a long time been credited with his amazing creativity of creating vertical gardens with a grace and a level of sophistication that has rarely been seen before. The vertical gardens are comprised of different species of plants, all of which have the innate ability to grow in an orientation that is gravity defying. The north façade is protected from the direct sun, meaning the plants are protected from overexposure. A complex system to say the least, the plant layer is a permanent fix of the wall, and it’s this ingenuity that makes the Quai Branly museum an outstanding attraction even before one treads to its interior. The blends of vegetation carefully created within geometric boundaries to ensure they don’t cover the windows, give rise to an aesthetic and ornamental appeal which is impressive to say the least. Past the green wall are tall glass panels. They add to the appeal of the exterior, as well as keep the noise from the sidewalk street out, and consequently achieving a serene interior where one can be able to enjoy the gardens and the exhibitions.

When the museum opened, it borrowed collections from the Musee national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Oceanie, which subsequently closed. Other artworks, antiquities and artefacts from the different civilizations were collected from the Musee de l’Homme. The collection available at the Musée du Quai Branly is comprehensive, with hundreds of thousands of objects being owned by the museum. Only a fraction of these are on display. Owing to the enormous size of its collection, parts of the exhibit from the museum are displayed at the Louvre.

The Musée du Quai Branly also houses a large multimedia library which has a collection of pictures, photographs, and literary works. A reading room is also availed at the bottom floor. The museum has a lot to offer, from its commanding aesthetics of the vertical gardens down to its art collections from the varied indigenous civilizations of the world.