July 5, 2005
In June, French film libraries Cinémathèque
française and Bibliothèque du Film, moved into
the renovated former American Center on rue de Bercy in Paris.
Designed by Frank Gehry, the American Center which
once held language, dance, theater and music courses and promoted
American experimental music and theater closed its
doors for lack of funds in 1996. Purchased by the State two
years later, the building has had its interior remodeled by
Paris-based Atelier de lîle at a cost of $40 million.
Selected through competition, the firms heaviest renovation
work involved the improvement of interior circulation, the
construction of new floors and the creation of three new cinemas
and a central hall. Although consulted before work began,
Gehry recommended that the architects not respect his
building, said Atelier de Lîle principal
Dominique Brard in the weekly construction magazine Le Moniteur
des travaux publics et du bâtiment.
The Cinémathèque française has 40,000
films, as well as cinema-related objects, including 2000 actors
costumes, in its collection. The Film Library stocks drawings,
photographs, press reviews and other types of publication
relating to cinema. The complex will open to the public in