4.11.2015

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Frank Gehry has designed a building that, through its strength and singularity, represents the first artistic step on the part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

A new monument for Paris
This large vessel covered in twelve glass sails, situated in the Bois de Boulogne, on the edge of avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, is attached to the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Set on a water garden created for the occasion, the building blends into the natural environment, amidst the wood and the garden, playing with light and mirror effects.

The building stretches over a total surface area of 11000 m2, including 7000 m2 publicly available. It offers 11 galleries dedicated to the presentation of the collections, contributions from artists and temporary exhibitions, along with a 350-seater auditorium with a modular design, in other words some3,850 m2 of museum space. The visitor can complete their tour with terraces that enjoy exceptional views over Paris, La Défense and the surrounding area. From the Eiffel Tower to the canopy of the Bois de Boulogne, from the Jardin’s Pigeon Tower to the skyscrapers of La Défense, the visitors can discover, from the Fondation’s heights, brand new Grand Paris views.

The museum’s privileged setting in this landscaped garden, its creative and innovative architecture and the new cultural hub that it intends to represent for as many people as possible are designed to attract both local families and tourists from all over the world, along with architecture and contemporary art enthusiasts.

Inseparable from the image of its building and encompassing a large-scale artistic project, the Fondation Louis Vuitton looks to form an integral part of the Parisian landscape and become an international benchmark in the years following its inauguration.

A new landmark in 21st – century architecture
From the very first sketch, the building that Frank Gehry designed for the Fondation Louis Vuitton is its inaugural artistic gesture. The building designed by Frank Gehry combines all of the architect’s methods, codes and modes of expression and marks a new step in his work.

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Models in Model

Guided by Proust’s memory, he took his inspiration from the lightness of late 19th-century glass and garden architecture to make his first sketch. Through the creation of a host of mock- ups, the architect has successfully given a sense of momentum to the building designed as a yacht or a vessel: set on a water garden, rising among the Jardin d’Acclimatation’s century-old trees, it blends in seamlessly with the natural environment.

The choice of the materials expresses the idea of transparency: a glass shell covers the
body of the building, an assembly of blocks known as the “iceberg”, giving it its volume and movement. The definitive mock-up was then scanned to provide the digital model for the project. The architect took a revolutionary approach to the work with glass in particular to bring his vision to life: “Our wish was to conceive a building that would evolve with the passing of the hours and with the changing light so as to create an impression of the ephemeral, and of continual change”. This architectural challenge is one of the iconic architectural achievements of the 21st century.

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