The Musee de L’Homme, a museum of anthropology in Paris, recently reopened its doors after being shuttered for a six-year renovation. One of the goals for the building, which is listed as a historical monument, was to bring space and light into its halls.
The project included the creation of the Gallery of Mankind, a 27,000-square-foot space in the heart of the museum encompassing two levels and a mezzanine, dedicated to the anthropological history of humankind—who we are, where we came from and where we are going.
Natural light was essential for the space and large bay windows were installed, punctuating the open space. At the same time, protecting the exhibits from light degradation was a critical component of the design. To provide protection from sunlight, white interior blinds were installed, fitted to a double ceiling rail. Mermet, a market leader in the design of technical fabrics for solar protection, was chosen to create and install the blinds.
Mermet chose M-Screen 8505 fabric for the blinds to protect against UV rays and provide light control and visual and thermal comfort. The fabric features a five percent openness factor to provide effective glare protection while offering optimum transparency. The blinds were done in white to optimize the intake of natural light and for heat-control properties, reflecting back up to 75 percent of the solar energy.
More than purely functional, the blinds are a design element, highlighting the simplicity of the renovations and forming a transparent, unobtrusive and modular partition. In addition, their presence moves visitors away from the bay windows, directing them toward the more intimate interior spaces.