Over 200 architectural sketches of the Bourse de Commerce building in Paris will be restored thanks to funding by French billionaire and art collector Francois Pinault. The building, former stock exchange is located near the Louvre and will be opened by Pinault as a new museum in 2019.

The sketches throw light on the design and construction of the Bourse de Commerce.

The building’s renovation is carried out by Japanese architect Tadao Ando who is leading the project, and French architects Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca. They will cooperate with the top architect of France’s historic monuments Pierre-Antoine Gatier.

The building was initially constructed by Nicolas Le Camus de Mezieres in the 18th century. It was intended to store corn and flour, but in the 1880s it was remodelled as a stock exchanged. In 1813, architects Francois-Joseph Belanger and Jacques Ignace Hittorff designed the impressive cast-iron dome of the building.

After Pinault commissioned an extensive historical and architectural study, Gatier found an archive of drawings by Hittorff in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Germany. The collection comprises mainly preliminary and technical drawings on the cupola’s (dome) development.
The drawings show the dome’s architects initial reflections on the construction of the dome and the materials to be used, with detailed illustrations of each piece and assembling instructions. They were made for Le Creusot, the metal forge in Bourgogne where the elements were cast.

The team which will conduct the renovation will use all these documents, to help them determine how to restore the framework of the dome.