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Arthur Rimbaud, French poet of the 19th century, spent his life on the road, shunning stability. The Rimbaud Museum project was conceived to showcase the life of the poet, and appropriately centres on the notions of absence and passage. Set in the old mill of his hometown, which he left at a very young age, this imposing monument becomes an immense open space, where scale is lost, possibilities and routes multiply, and the impossible becomes reality. Across the infinity of this landscape a river flows, visible below.

Lyrical openings and Rimbaud's works punctuate the walls, an interplay of story and absence which characterizes the poet's wake, and represents our relationship to him across the centuries. This interaction also characterizes the works, along with the life of their creator, as they move in and out of reality as they are beheld before visitors pass on, only to perhaps be revived in a performance or reading. As Rimbaud said, "I am another", and so the museum is a theatre where everyone and everything is an actor. Everyone is invited into this rich encounter with the Surrealism that Arthur Rimbaud himself embraced so zealously.

Project information


Status: Competition

Location: Charleville-Mézières, France

Date: 2012

Surface: 520 m²

Commission type: Public

Client: City of Charleville-Mézières

Program: Museum

Project team


Architecte: Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane / Architects, Paris

Paysagiste: Cao Perrot Studio

Economie: Bureau Michel Forgue

Ingénierie: ETC

Structure: EVP








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