In spring 2023, Hangar Y, located in the Meudon national forest, offers a new living space dedicated to artistic events. The oldest preserved airship shed in the world, listed as a historic monument, hosts a public programming on the themes of innovation, science and culture.


This jewel of Ile-de-France’s industrial heritage, on the occasion of the pre-opening on October 22 and 23, has already welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors. The entire plot is now classified as a historical monument, the rest of Chalais Park, including the hexagonal pond, A procedure for the classification of historical monuments in the context of the delimitation of the national domain of Meudon.

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The restoration of hangar Y © DRAC Île-de-France

Built by Exhibition Chief Engineer Henri de Dion, the Y building forms part of the Galerie Annexe des Machines françaises of the 1878 Exposition Universelle, of which it is the only vestige. Reinstalled in 1879 in the park of Chalais in Meudon, then raised on blocks of stone, it was initially used to build balloons for airships. Subsequently, The airship "France" which performed its first closed circuit flight on August 9, 1884 Sheltered there.

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Interior of hangar Y © DRAC Île-de-France

Hangar Y still has most of its original features. Refurbished in 1921 to serve as a reserve for the opening of the first air museum until 1977, it also houses the temporary workshop of Marc Chagall who worked there in 1964 to paint the ceiling of the Opéra Garnier.


This building had remained unused in recent years, even though it benefited in 2009 from the funds of the regional recovery plan that allowed the State (Ministry of Culture/ DRAC Île-de-France) to continue the program of restoration started in the 1990s (complete renovation of the structure and the roof in 1994) by the restoration in 2009 identical to the metal elements, masonry and old glazing of the central nave for an amount of €4 million financed 100% by the State.


The signing of an administrative emphyteutic valuation lease (BEAV) took place on 30 October 2018 between the State and the group Culture and Heritage, only candidate to have responded . This was the first time that the Ministry of Culture entrusted a private operator with the task of restoring and enhancing a building belonging to the State and classified as historical monuments.




The redeveloped park around the Chalais pond and the giant statue of pigeons installed in the park of Chalais © DRAC Île-de-France

This lease allowed to launch the restoration of Hangar Y under the management of the agency Lympia, via the property created with OMNES Capital, to which a new investor, the Art Explora Foundation chaired by Frédéric Jousset. An investment of more than €20 million has been allocated to the project to make Hangar Y a venue for exhibitions and events on the science, history and future of the airship balloon, with a space of 1500 places for cultural and musical events, which will also allow a program for the general public on the themes of innovation, science and culture.  technical training centre dedicated to the high technologies of the Aerotat (astronomy, meteorology, sports practice, etc.).


Hangar Y © DRAC Île-de-France

The total is 3700 m2 private spaces for companies (services, seminars, exhibitions...). In addition, a fixed and variable fee based on the Emphyteutic’s turnover will be paid to the State in return for the provision of the property.

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The creation work (replacement of the current north gable by a fully glazed facade and interior fittings) entrusted to the agency Data architects The lease has officially entered into force, It is part of a global project of restitution under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture of the great perspective of Meudon, The monumentality of which was established by André Le Nôtre and which has just been registered under national domains, a new legal category established by the Law of 7 July 2016 (LCAP), by the Decree in the Council of State of 17 June 2016, prior to the completion of work scheduled for the end of 2022.