The Institut du Monde Arabe has permanent and temporary exhibitions on all aspects of the Arab world, but although I have only ever attended one of these, I still regularly visit the building simply to admire Jean Nouvel’s magnificent creation.
It is a spectacular construction of glass and steel, with a south-facing façade of 240 moucharabiehs. The diaphragms of each were supposed to open and close according to the light, and although they have never truly been functional they are still offer a shadowy beauty when viewed from the inside.
If you have a fear of heights you may wish to end your visit at ground floor level, but it would be a shame to miss the 9th floor terrace. The building can be entered freely, with glass lifts whizzing you up through the belly of the building and spitting you out alongside an upmarket restaurant. Walk past this to the open terrace and enjoy the exceptional position of this structure.
The building echos the curve of the Seine at this point, giving panoramic views over the Ile St Louis and Notre Dame towards the North and East of the city. My photo is of the terrace viewed from below – if you want to see the view from the top you’ll just have to go there yourself!