• Svenska institutet i Paris, innergården. Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman

    Svenska institutet i Paris, innergården.

The Swedish Institute in Paris (SI)

The Swedish Institute in Paris (SI) occupies the private mansion Hôtel de Marle in the popular cultural district of Marais. Counsellor for Cultural Affairs Gunnar W Lundberg was behind the 1965 initiative to purchase the dilapidated building. The purchase and renovation were funded through special lotteries organised by the State for the benefit of the arts, theatre and other cultural endeavours.

Unique rooms for the Tessin Institute

The architects for the redevelopment of the unique mansion were René Duval, Yves de Tonquédez and Claude Charpentier. The extensive restoration work was conducted under the supervision of the French Commission des Monuments Historiques. Kurt Bernström was responsible for the interiors. When it opened in 1971, Hôtel de Marle provided offices, directors' accommodation and apartments for researchers, as well as exhibition rooms and an auditorium. The listed property also houses the Tessin Institute. The gardens extend for almost 1500 square metres.

16th-century roots

The building has a a long history. The roof trusses date back to the latter part of the 16th century. The building is named after Christophe Hector de Marle, who was a counsellor in the Parliament of Paris. He purchased the mansion in 1572 and lived here for over 30 years. It is probably during his time that the building gained the architectural features that remain to this day. After de Marle, the house changed hands several times, and in 1744 it was converted so that individual apartments could be rented out. The entrance doors and the current main steps are from this period.

French metropolitan mansion

The layout of Hôtel de Marle follows a typical pattern for French metropolitan mansions in the 17th and 18th centuries. The gates open onto a paved courtyard framed by two wings. The north wing has a small entrance and steps fitted with iron railings from 1694. The south wing has the main entrance from 1774, approached up grand steps. These steps lead up to the large foyer for temporary exhibitions and the movie theatre. Upstairs in the main building is Queen Kristina's drawing room, with its beautifully painted beamed ceiling.



11 rue Payenne

750 03 Paris