Creation of the Fondation Louis Vuitton
The project has taken some 13 years to carry out, but the result is spectacular. Right next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, the brand new Fondation Louis Vuitton rises up in a cloud of impressive glass architecture designed by American architect Frank Gehry. The building resembles a ship in full sail and is located in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne.
Gehry, who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, has succeeded in creating a building that stands 46 metres high. Like many of his creations, the construction has neither a facade nor a roof in the traditional sense of the terms. It is composed more of flowing shapes that envelope the interior spaces designed to showcase cultural collections and exhibitions. The Californian architect used 6,000 m² of curved glass panels attached to a steel frame to provide the covering. A team of architects worked intensively on the feasibility of the project, registering some thirty patents in the process!
Gehry said that « when Bernard Arnault suggested that he come and meet him in Paris, he told him nothing at first. He took him to the Jardin d’acclimatiation and then spoke of his project. (Gehry who had lived in Paris in the 1950s knew the city but not that particular place). He said that he felt quite emotional thinking about French writer Proust walking along the pathways there. He said that he realized then that this was a historic place ».
12,000 m² devoted to art
The LVMH group, which supports artistic creation, now has a first-class flagship with a surface area of 12,000 m². Some of this is used to show a selection of works from the Foundation’s collection and from Bernard Arnault’s private collection. In addition to this ‘permanent’ collection, the Foundation also hosts two temporary exhibitions every year as well as musical events in the auditorium.