The Forest Garden of the François-Mitterrand Library welcomes the public

Although it is still closed to visitors, the garden at the center of the François Mitterrand Library, in Paris, can be viewed clearly through large bay windows. A permanent exhibition will help discover its biodiversity.

Environment and Biodiversity

13th District of Paris, France

Dominique Boizeau

22 500 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader

Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand

Dominique Perrault, the architect of the François-Mitterrand Library, wanted to offer the researchers and visitors to the site a calm and planted setting. He accordingly designed a garden nearly a hectare (2.4 acres) in size at the center of the research and study rooms.

Thirteen years after the library was inaugurated, this setting, protected from human action - apart from landscaping professionals - is a haven of peace for the fauna and flora that grow there. Thus, some birds, such as pilgrim hawks, have found refuge there after having virtually deserted the city. Inventories have been compiled of the fauna (except for insects) and flora, and even though they have to be updated regularly, they already constitute a precious source of information. It is also planned to compile an insect inventory.

All of this will therefore be ready shortly to display the treasures of this garden free of charge to the million visitors who visit the library every year.

A permanent multimedia exhibition


Plates composed of naturalistic reproductions of the collections of the Department of Science and Technology will be exhibited on lecterns in the ambulatories of the study library at the top of the garden, opposite the bay windows. Each of them will be accompanied by documentation on the species (date of installation, role in the ecosystem, etc.) in front of which the panel is installed. Adhesives will be placed on the glazing to guide the eyes of the visitors. They will match the adhesives applied after the 1999 storm to deter the birds from crashing into the reflection of the forest. Plates in Braille and acoustic markers are planned for blind and vision-impaired visitors.

The Veolia Environment Foundation is sharing in financing these supports. The exhibition will add to the system installed by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (French National Library) as part of its sustainable development policy, an issues selected as one of the major guidelines of its development.