Département des Arts de l’Islam – Louvre: from orientation map to tactile station

Having created a museographic trail of 11 tactile stations in 2012, the institution became a source of inspiration for many museums in France and around the world.

In 2020, the Louvre once again chose Tactile Studio to highlight the building’s unique architecture and to improve orientation within it.

Highlighting an original and complex architecture

Everyone can now discover, touch and appreciate the spaces and uniqueness of this exquisite setting.

Far from being a simple orientation map, the challenge was to take into account the Louvre’s unique architecture. Located in the Visconti Courtyard in the palace, with its classical façades, the Département des Arts de l’Islam was covered with a magnificent undulating glass roof in 2012. Consisting of a mesh of 2,000 gold-plated steel triangles covering the internal and exterior surfaces, the filtered light gives a semi-transparent view of the courtyard’s classical façades.

Tactile station of the Département des Arts de l'Islam divided into 5 parts - © Tactile Studio
Tactile station of the Département des Arts de l'Islam divided into 5 parts - © Tactile Studio
The magnificent undulating glass roof of the Département des Arts de l'Islam - © Musée du Louvre
The magnificent undulating glass roof of the Département des Arts de l'Islam - © Musée du Louvre

This impressive architectural masterpiece was designed by two internationally renowned architects – the Italian Mario Bellini and Frenchman Rudy Ricciotti: decorated with a gold medal from the Académie d’architecture, he designed the Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes, the Louvre Museum in Lens as well as the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations in Marseille, with whom we have had the honour of collaborating to improve inclusiveness.

An inclusive design tactile station

Tactile Studio’s approach was to divide the main structure into five parts to show the complexity of the whole.

The first space is given over to written explanations of the architecture of the premises with a tactile map which locates the courtyard within the whole building. The second details the very particular structure of the glass roof and its undulations with the help of a tactile model. The organic aspect of the architecture and the irregularities of its surface are highlighted to help visitors understand these features.

The first two parts of the tactile station at the Département des Arts de l'Islam - © Tactile Studio
The first two parts of the tactile station at the Département des Arts de l'Islam - © Tactile Studio
The 5 parts of the tactile station at the Département des Arts de l'Islam - © Tactile Studio
The 5 parts of the tactile station at the Département des Arts de l'Islam - © Tactile Studio

The third part presents a cross-section of the Visconti courtyard and shows the juxtaposition of the historic buildings and the new exhibition space. This cross-section shows that the exhibition space occupies two levels. The fourth and fifth parts detail the organisation of these two levels, with tactile maps. An orientation map is also installed on the lower floor.

These beautiful creations, acclaimed by the museum’s teams, integrate perfectly into the space. Respectful of the premises and of the architecture, they offer learning step by step, accessible to all, to illustrate the complexity of the premises.

Client: Musée du Louvre – Paris
Partner: WAM

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