An advantage of having moved to the capital in autumn: this is my favorite season. This afternoon in the gardens of Albert Kahn’s museum in Paris made up for this very rainy autumn. I discovered Japanese gardens with magnificent colours, a taste before my sixtieth trip to Japan.
Albert Kahn (1860-1940) was a banker and humanist, The museum and its gardens are located in his former property in Boulogne-Billancourt.
Albert Kahn’s gardens
The 4 hectares ground around the museum is an integral part of the collections, enabling a plant-based journey around the world. Trees, ponds, flowers and even a conservatory form an oasis around the museum. It has English, Japanese and French garden.
The Japanese gardens
This space was created by Albert Kahn after his trip to Japan and he even imported the teahouses. IN autumn, the maple tree near the teahouse turns red.
The english gardens
A natural landscape bordered by a small river.
The Albert-Kahn museum
The museum has been under renovation since 2016 with reopening is scheduled for 2021. Kengo Kuma, my favourite architect, was selected for its renovation. In his work, he reinterprets Japanese traditions by giving a primordial place to nature. For Albert Kahn’s museum, this is a reinterpretation of the Engawa: a veranda that is partially inside the building with sliding doors protecting it from the rain.
Interior and exterior are very important terms in Japanese architecture and aesthetics. Kengo Kuma was influenced by the writer Tanizaki Junichiro. I highly recommend his essay, Praise of the Shadow, which talks about Japanese aesthetics (I read it at least ten times!).
The gardens of the Albert Kahn museum are great to visit when in Paris, especially in autumn when the trees put on their autumnal ornament.
11 am-6pm (October 1st to March 31th)
11 am-7pm (April 1st to September 30th)
1 rue des abondances 92100 Boulogne Billancourt. Boulogne – Pont de Saint-Cloud metro station is 2 minutes from the museum entrance.
Close to Albert Kahn museum are the Auteuil greenhouses in the Bois de Boulogne: perfect for warming up and walking among the plants. We almost forget that we are in Paris!
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