A super-library combining five national collections in one building, Paris’s National Library of France was the final Grands travaux of President François Mitterrand. Initially commissioned to house all French production of words, images, and sounds since 1945, its architectural competition captured the confusion and variety of architectural thinking in 1989. OMA’s proposal was for a 100-metre-tall cube aggressively placed on the banks of the Seine, a building that marks the beginning of the “big” period and the shift from urbanism to conceptual formalism that Rem Koolhaas would retroactively name in his infamous remark on context.

Across the hall, in our main galleries, James Stirling’s proposal for the National Library of France is included in James Frazer Stirling: Notes from the Archive.

Curators: Rem Koolhaas and Clément Blanchet, OMA.
Graphic design: Atelier Pastille Rose, Montreal.

Selected objects

Building the models


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)