French newspaper Ouest France covers the innovative scenography at the reopened museum and interviews Delphine Rabat, Head of Casson Mann France and manager of the project.
The article begins: "Translating the scientific content of an exhibition into a memorable journey is an art that the British scenography agency Casson Mann has mastered perfectly. This know-how is reflected, among other things, in four remarkable scenographic elements visible at the National Maritime Museum in Paris."
"Under the leadership of their representative in France Delphine Rabat, a true leader attentive to all those involved in the metamorphosis of the museum, the scenographic agency Casson Mann worked to transform its winning design into a sea voyage punctuated by three crossings and four stopovers."
Ouest France describes how "the computer-generated images that have become real follow the natural curve of the building, delicately underlined by a horizon line - “the Casson Mann touch”, smiles the project manager. The discreet light along the side walls of an open-plan space guides the visitor without imposing anything and connects the singular, surprising, sometimes breathtaking atmospheres that follow one another."
"Each is introduced by spectacular and monumental installations which subtly hide what happens next to create suspense and further amaze the visitor. These impressive landmarks fit harmoniously into the volumes. “The historic classification of the building adds constraints, which require us to be inventive and creative to get around them,” remarks the scenographer."
"Her point is illustrated, as soon as the entry ticket is validated, by an immense hull requiring you to raise your head to visualize its contours...Inside, an impressive video clip – above, on and under the sea – is projected onto a seven-metre diameter half-sphere and takes the visitor into an immersive experience awakening all of their senses. “The visitor enters into an atmosphere and says to themselves, now, I am there, I am visiting the National Maritime Museum,” comments Delphine Rabat."
"The discreet light along the side walls of an open-plan space guides the visitor without imposing anything and connects the singular, surprising, sometimes breathtaking atmospheres that follow one another. Each is introduced by spectacular and monumental installations which subtly hide what happens next to create suspense and further amaze the visitor. These impressive landmarks fit harmoniously into the volumes. "
"On the ground, other colourful containers, custom-made and transformed into display cases, tell the story of the sea through the maritime routes of consumption."
"To access the next crossing – Storms and Shipwrecks – the visitor has no other choice than to dive into the ocean and live a unique experience at the bottom of the wave. Even without the sound and image, the installation is impressive," comments Ouest France.
"The first step on site was to assemble the metal structure of the wave and cover it with plasterboard. “It measures 20 metres long, around 12 metres wide and reaches 8 metres high,” explains the project manager. "At the same time, the media was designed with visualization simulations using virtual reality headsets." Then, a whole process with numerous on-site tests made it possible to refine the body of the wave, its speed, the foam and, finally, the colours and the sound. Like the hull and the containers, the wave is a remarkable scenographic element which has been invented and designed."
"The fourth and final marker stands out from the other three since it is an object from the collection whose presentation plays with the architecture of the building. This last scenographic element is no less monumental and also causes its little “wow” effect!"
"La Réale, a stern decoration whose name takes up that of the 17th century galley that it decorated, springs several meters after the wave and introduces the “Paint for the King” stopover by overlooking it thanks to the use of an architectural gesture. This location, proposed by Casson Mann, gives the visitor the opportunity to admire the object from several points of view: from the front, he contemplates an Apollo, represented in the prime of life (allegory of Louis XIV) and in all his shine. But also below, on the ground floor, where fifteen paintings of French ports painted by Joseph Vernet are exhibited."
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