I always wondered how the construction of this fairy-like, kitschy metro entrance got accepted in the otherwise so classic and uniform style of Parisian urban landscaping. Metro entrances are often marked by beautiful Art Nouveau gateways, but not so at the metro station Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre, which was designed to celebrate the 100 years of the existence of the Parisian metro back in the year 2000.
I found out the artwork has a name: Kiosque des Noctambules, “Kiosk of the night owls”, which only confirms the undoubtedly poetic mind of the artist, glass sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel.
Othoniel was actually inspired by classic Art Nouveau design and wanted to enchant Parisians with his version of the metro entrance. A noble thought for the ever rushing Parisian, that at the time cost a shocking 2 million francs. Nowadays it is just one of the little architectural surprises that add a little color to the daily routine.
More interesting metro stations exist throughout Paris (the metro Arts et Métiers for example looks like a submarine), but I would be happy to plead in favor of more craziness in Paris’ metro architecture. Although Paris is beautiful, I do appreciate some humour and colour.
This spot is located between the Louvre and the lovely Palais Royal gardens, which are my favorite destinations close to this metro exit.