There’s nothing clandestine about this underground installation.  It’s Arts et Métiers metro station. The station serves the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, a grande école dedicated to research and education in science and industry.



To celebrate the bicentennial of the Conservatoire in 1994 Belgian artist and illustrator François Schuiten was commissioned to redesign the station (line 11 platforms only).   François Schuiten is best known for his Cités Obscures series of BD or comic books…..


cités obscures 1


Back at the metro station, portholes in the riveted, copper-coloured cladding reveal dioramas related to technical innovations displayed in the Arts et Métiers museum but the overall design is pure steampunk fantasy.



In 2014 the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine invited François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters to reimagine Paris for the Revoir Paris exhibition.  As the people in this vision of the city seem to be able to fly I’m not sure they need the metro any more….


Revoir Paris © François Schuiten et Benoît Peeters
Revoir Paris © François Schuiten et Benoît Peeters


revoir paris 2