Exciting contemporary art in an artfully distressed setting.
Compared to the sedate atmosphere of many Paris museums, the Palais de Tokyo has a buzzy feel of art in the making. The vast 1930s building was originally built for the 1937 Exposition Universelle — along with the Musée d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris on the other side of the peristyle — and its vast spaces were renovated in the early 1990s by architects Lacaton & Vassal with a deliberately unfinished (and economic to convert) look that works very well. The vast curved main gallery is excellent for large-scale installations, while there are also several smaller exhibition and video spaces. In keeping with the spirit, there's a good art bookshop, a fun gift and designer object shop that ranges from artists' editions and funky T-shirts to stickers, plus the trendy Tokyo Eat restaurant and a basement café Tokyo Self.