Le Havre, World Heritage Site

Inside the Maison du Patrimoine (Heritage House).

Exhibitions and conferences

All year round, exhibitions are held in order to raise awareness and inform on all facets of the reconstructed city. Le Havre regularly welcomes and takes part in seminars on the theme of the reconstructed city and Auguste Perret’s architecture. Here is a retrospective review.



Auguste Perret, La Poétique du Béton (Poetry of Concrete) 1900-1954, Malraux Museum, 20th September 2002 to 6th January 2003
An exhibition conceived and organized by the French Institute of Architecture, in partnership with the towns of Le Havre and Turin.


Marcel Gascoin, Le Havre/Fontainebleau, from 18th June to 25th September 2011
Set in the modern city centre of Le Havre, Heritage House-Perret Studio welcomed the first exhibition dedicated to Marcel Gascoin (1907-1986), a designer who left his mark on the Reconstruction period in France. Pierre Paulin thought of him as a “founding father”, and Gascoin taught the greatest French designers of the early 1950s. His work, unrecognized for a long time, has been progressively re-discovered and now belongs to the history of furniture design.


Dans l’intimité du Peintre Alfred Manessier (At home with the painter Alfred Manessier), the reconstruction years (1945-1964) from 5th November 2011 to 29th January 2012
A retrospective exhibition of paintings and tapestries by the artist, reminders of his presence in Le Havre during the reconstruction period of the city.


Les lieux de Pascal Quignard (Places of Pascal Quignard’s youth), 15th April to 13th May 2013

In 1950, the Quignard family moved into the V41 block. Jacques, the father, a French humanities teacher at the Boys’ Lycée, plays a part in the cultural life of the city. Like many inhabitants,the family used to follow the evolution of the construction site, just as journalist Bernard Esdras-Gosse, who would scrupulously relate the various steps of this experimental building site.

This exhibition suggested to compare texts written by Pascal Quignard, describing memories and places in Le Havre (Rue Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Saint Roch’s garden, the port, the Boys’Lycée…) with photographs out of the Municipal Library Archives, in particular pictures donated by Bernard Esdras-Gosse.


Céline Douchet Good Night Lilly, photographs,exhibition, installation during the Nuit des Musées (Night of Museums) 2013
The show-flat becomes the place where a woman falls apart, all along one night. Gestures, colours and framings show a growing unease, as the photographer, become her own model, progresses through the rooms, and reaching breaking point. The “scenes” from the Perret show-flat echo both the preparatory sketches exhibited as a form of storyboard in Heritage House and the film showing all of the sequences.


Jacques Hittier, le designer du voyage (Travel Designer), 29th June to 29th September 2013
Jacques Hittier, Travel Designer is the first exhibition ever dedicated to this designer, one of the most important in the 1950s, on par with René Gabriel and Marcel Gascoin. The lounge and study furniture in the Show Flat are changed on this occasion. The visitor finds himself back in time, in an early 1950s atmosphere, where metal tubing is widely used. Heritage House also exhibits a few pieces of furniture but mostly gouaches, sketches and documents showing off his perfect technical and artistic expertise.


Pascal Dechenaud, sculptures d’architecture (Sculptures of Architecture), from 9th march to 31st march 2014, an exhibition included in the Mois de l’Architecture project (Month of Architecture project).

Pascal Dechenaud is the son of René Dechenaud, architect of the reconstruction of Le Havre. At the beginning of the 1980s, he is already creating painted theatre sets and wax volumes. His artistic productions then veer towards staging life size, bronze or resin characters before a background of wall frescoes (Méridien Montparnasse Hotel, Business Centre at meaux, CNIT La Défense…).

Since 2011, he finds inspiration in the architecture of Le Havre, its port infrastructure, adding them to transparent bases which translate the volumes and energy of the city.


Are you Experiencing, Photographic Trail
Since 2010, Heritage House – Perret Studio takes part in the Are You Experiencing festival which welcomes one or several photographers. The festival takes place all over the city and lasts a whole month; scheduled in more than twenty different places.

•    Céline Douchet, Fragments, 2011
•    Léonard Barbier-Hourdin, Faux-plis (Creases), 2012
•    Maryse Haÿ, 2013
•    Bernard Hébert et Bruno Gavard, 2015

Seminars and conferences


Urban Psychoanalisys: trauma, reconstruction, repossession, 12th September 2014, a conference organized by the Unesco – City of Art and History Department.


French Towns belonging to World and Tourism Heritage: protection, management, promotion, 27th May 2010, organized by the Unesco  Department of Culture and tourism Development, IREST and EIREST, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, the France-Unesco convention, ICOMOS-France, under the leadership of Maris Gravari-Barbas and Sébastien Jacquot.


Brasilia, Chandigarh, Le Havre, Tel-Aviv, symbol towns of the twentieth century, 13th and 14 September 2007
Convened at Le Havre on 13th and 1’th September 2007, the Brasilia-Chandigarh-Le Havre-Tel-Aviv Seminar considered in depth the destiny of four towns whose architectures are symbols of the twentieth century, meaning to confront specialist knowledge with the experience of local actors. It was the first time discussion took place on such a scale, spanning three continents, with strong chronological coherence, since these urban creations, taking place over a short thirty years period, were more or less contemporary constructions.


Seminar on Reconstruction, Normandy – Lower Saxony, 15th April 2011
The Perret Show Flat at Le Havre. Presenting ordinary housing and standardization of everyday life in show flats of the reconstruction by Elizabeth Chauvin and Pierre Gencey.



Hitier Exhibition - Teen-age girl's room - 1955
By Dechenaud.

For further research

Brasilia Seminar - 2007 (PDF - 3.8 mo) Download
Reconstruction Seminar - 2011 (PDF - 125 ko) Download
Urban Psychoanalysis Conference - 2014 (PDF - 1.2 mo) Download
Are you experiencing - 2015 (PDF - 5.4 mo) Download
At home with the painter Alfred Manessier (PDF - 800 ko) Download
Retrouvez toute l’actualité de ces expositions et conférences sur www.lehavre.fr Visit website