Today we’re going to visit the metro station, Arts et Métiers in Paris, France. It’s a very special station with a very unique design, inspired by the fictional submarine “The Nautilus”, from the work of Jules Verne. Jules Verne was born in France on 8 February 1828 and died on 24 March 1905. He is most famous for his adventure novels including, “Journey to the centre of the Earth”, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, and “Around the World in Eighty Days”.
“The Nautilus” is the submarine, captained by “Nemo”, from “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “The Mysterious Island” (1870 and 1874). Jules Verne had a huge influence on science fiction and if you remember the “Back to the future” series, “Doctor Emmett Brown” was inspired by the work of Jules Verne and named his children after him, in the third instalment of the world famous Hollywood franchise.
Arts et Métiers, Paris Métro
“Arts et Métiers” is the location of the arts and craft museum, “Musée des Arts et Métiers”. It is on Line 3 and Line 11 (the weird green line and the brown coloured line) and has two very different platforms. One is a quite traditional looking metro line and the other takes you “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” inside “The Nautilus” submarine! The original station opened on the 19th October 1904 and the second platform (or third and forth, depending how you look at it!), line 11, opened on the 28th April 1935.
Celebrating 200 years of the Musee des Arts et Metiers
In 1994 the station was redesigned by the Belgian comics artist François Schuiten, to celebrate the bicentenary of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. Located in the 3rd arrondissement, the museum which was founded in 1794, serves as a “repository for the preservation of scientific instruments and inventions.”
Schuiten designed it in a “steampunk” style, referencing the work of Jules Verne. Wikipedia describes steampunk as:
“Steampunk, is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery”
Submarine portholes with strange and wonderful scientific things!
The station has the feel of being inside a beautiful copper submarine or a deep sea diver’s helmet from the 1800’s and has lots of interesting design features, from gigantic wheels and cogs to strange stylised machinery to wonderful Submarine portholes.
Each porthole houses a technological marvel of the past, which at the time was cutting edge and seen as futuristic. These includes bridges, armillary sphere and the “Roue hydraulique”.
My favourite is the 1962 Telstar satellite which enabled the first live trans-Atlantic television program between the USA and the UK.
If you take a look through the portholes you will discover lots of wonderful contraptions.
Escapism and beautiful design on the Paris metro
When you travel through this station it really has the spirit of a strange place, you ask yourself, “What is this?”.
It’s a really unique special place. It’s also very clean. The chairs are made of polished wood, the bins are specially designed and a lot of thought has gone into every part of the design.
Make sure that you visit both platforms because one of the lines looks like a standard metro station.
You will want the LINE 11 platform.
Arts et Métiers, Paris Métro, France (Line 3 and Line 11)
By Anthony King (c)
PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT BY ANTHONY KING* (c)