The Orsay Museum is a temple to French art. One of the most popular museums in Europe, it holds the largest collection of impressionist pieces in the world, among other masterpieces from the latter 18th and early 19th centuries.
Housed in the former Gare d'Orsay train station on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris, the vast metal-framed building was originally built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1900 World’s Fair. Since its reopening as a museum in 1986, another impressive collection has existed alongside the Renoirs, Van Goghs and Gauguins: an extensive selection of USM Haller furnishings. Serving areas throughout the museum, from the elegant reception area to the refined administrative offices, the USM Haller pieces share some of the building’s physical characteristics: robust metal construction, ingenious design, and clean, simple style.
“Here, everything changes all the time. We have to change the furniture almost daily and, with [the USM Haller system], it only takes a few hours.”
- Catherine Bony, Logistics Manager, Musée d’Orsay
The size of the museum’s USM collection is truly remarkable. With thousands of separate components in storage, the museum employs an in-house technical department specialising in USM modular furniture. They’re ready at any moment to reconfigure the USM system to respond to emerging storage and display requirements. Delving into the store of tubes, connectors, panels, doors and other USM components, the team - led by Patrice Bugras, a two-decade veteran of USM furnishings - can quickly assemble completely unique solutions that the museum can rely on to meet their high standards of style, strength and resilience every time.
A perfect example is the current reception desk. Built using the USM Haller system and finished in graphite black, the piece is solid and strong without being austere, and looks utterly at home in its grand environment of high art, ornate arches and fine marbled floors.
More than perhaps any other, a museum’s environment is always changing, with new exhibitions, renovations, and continuous redesigning and reconfiguration for all sorts of reasons. From this perspective, there is no greater testament to USM pieces’ versatility than their long service at the museum. Amidst almost constant environmental changes, the USM collection has become a kind of second skin for the museum, becoming a seamlessly integrated (but always beautiful) part of the environment, regardless of whatever changes take place.
Read more about using the USM Haller system in luxury exhibition environments.
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