Central pavilion

The central pavilion and its terraced side wings were designed by Alfred Coulomb in 1903-1904. It fills the void left in 1822-1823 by the destruction of the mansion created by Charles de Wailly in 1768-1783. The ensemble connects the parts from the 18th century, revamped or built by Count Marc-Pierre d’Argenson in 1757-1764. Erected on three levels – including a mansard roof – and featuring seven bays, the central pavilion exhibits all the characteristics of Rococo architecture from the 18th century, highly appreciated during the Belle Époque. Coulomb demonstrates his perfect understanding of the genre in the alternation of segmental openings on the ground floor, rectangular ones on the upper floor, and a semicircular one at the center.

The center of the pavilion is also adorned with a beautiful balcony on consoles of the same style and crowned with a wide pediment depicting Flora seated amidst cherubs and putti carrying a garland of flowers (1904). Coulomb plays with an ornate central part and more sober lateral parts. He incorporated the dormer windows from the lateral pavilions designed by Meusnier in the 18th century into the roof, adding Louis XV-style bull’s-eye windows to blend the building with the existing ones.