The 18 months of renovation and restoration at the Médard Museum (formerly the Hotel Paulet) is part of a cultural project to redevelop the town’s historical sites. Historically, the building built in 1783 had successively housed the Town Hall, the tourist office, and the library. This transformation is based on the existing qualities of the building and the constraints put in place by the Médard Collection itself. “We’re something between a library and a museum,” points out Mayor Claude Arnaud.
The classic façade was restored stone by stone to preserve their historic characteristics, and the precise illumination of the main entrance highlights the modeling and composition of the building. The inside, on the other hand, is more modern and functional, with multimedia terminals and a video area. “Coming into this museum is like starting a book,” points out architect Laurent Duport. The old staircase was demolished to make way for a contemporary form of circulation that is both vertical and horizontal. The collection can be found on the first floor, which has been improved to meet new standards in conservation and presentation. The second floor is dedicated to the treatment and storing of books, but it also offers a versatile space for conferences and workshops on the arts and crafts of books. In total, three quarters of the entire area is available to the public while still ensuring the protection of the collection. This preservation has been achieved by controlling the temperature and humidity while regulating the light. The renovated building is now a key point in the city center, with its walk-through character, which leads onto the Place des Martyrs de le Résistance on one side and the Place Jean Jaurès on the other.