The Museum is installed in a private residence, the hôtel de Lalande, built in Bordeaux between 1775 and 1779 for the parliamentary councillor Pierre de Raymond de Lalande. This house would change its statuses over the years. In 1880 it was purchased by the City, which first of all installed its police departments in it, and built a prison behind it, where the garden used to be. Then the City established a first Museum of Ancient Art in it, in 1924, which would be turned into a Museum of Decorative Arts in 1955. In 1984, the museum was converted to evoke a wealthy aristocratic residence, typical of the Enlightenment in Bordeaux and its reserves are located in the former prison.
Recently, in 2013, the institution was renamed the Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design on Constance Rubini’s initiative, thus indicating the wish to turn it into a major place for disseminating the culture of design.
In 2016, the museum’s reserves, located in the former prison, are outsourced to extend the exhibition space open to the public. This new space gives a dynamic and a good visibility to the institution.
Are presented the exhibitions Oh couleurs ! Le design au prisme de la couleur in 2017 (record attendance with 43,239 visitors), and Construction – Martin Szekely in 2018.
In 2018, both buildings are classified as historical monuments.