Part of the grandeur of the world's best art museum's comes not from the collections inside or troved away in the basements - but the designs of the buildings themselves.
This latest Parisian masterpiece is called the Fondation Louis Vuitton, named and housing the art collection of Bernard Arnault - the leading man behind LVMH, a luxury powerhouse owning brands far beyond the Louis Vuitton, Moet and Hennessy its name includes.
Initially, the space will house the permanent collection of Arnault himself - consisting of thousands of precious artwork so far invisible to the public. Arnault is set to become not just a purveyor of artistic handbags -- but an enabler of art itself via this gigantic and stunning museum.
From the outside, the FLV museum is like a giant merchant marine ship from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Designed by Guggenheim Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall-famed architect Frank Gehry, the building is simply amazing to behold.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Some in LA call the Disney Concert Hall the "Heat Sink" because its steel and aluminum sheathing gets so hot and reflects so much solar heat that everything in blocks is 10-degrees warmer. That is a tough critique on Gehry's otherwise world-renowned style.
His design in Paris is much lighter in every way. This lightness is from less steel overall, lack of concrete boxes to form the inside spaces, and the flowing vents of the giant glass and timber support system making the outside a part of the interior space. Ideally, the latest Gehry designs will breathe and vent themselves a bit better. The glass and timber combination will be amazing at night and with light displays - and the FLV is open until 2-am.
Gehry lays the FLV museum up tall and proud from a relatively small base area, with the sails of the ship constructed in giant flowing glass enclosures.
Fondation Louis Vuitton
This emphasis on glass is important for two reasons: modern art is all about natural light and enormous spaces for giant installations to rest comfortably. Second, the clear and open layout is a marked difference between Gehry's defining stainless-steel creations of ten years ago.
The openness and lightness shown in the Fondation Louis Vuitton instantly welcomes this incredible museum to the world stage in fine style.
Opening on October 27th to the public, there are a variety of interesting exhibits planned for the first few months already - starting with a look at Mr. Gehry's architecture itself via many of the scale models and sketches that led to this building's final design. Looking at the design of a building while in the building? That is meta!
When in Paris, best to patronize LVMH's new flagship store. Selling ideas and beauty and provocative creativity along with LVMH staples like booze and jewelry?
As long as the future of art (slash: commerce) is housed in buildings like this, we strongly approve!
Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum
The Fondation Louis Vuitton will open to the public on Monday 27 October 2014, after three special
open days for the Inaugural Weekend – with free entry on reservation – on Friday 24, Saturday 25
and Sunday 26 October 2014.
Commissioned by Bernard Arnault and designed by Frank Gehry, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is
located in Paris, on the site of the Jardin d’acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne. The Fondation
Louis Vuitton will be principally associated with artistic creation in all its forms. At the heart of the
spaces, the public will be invited to discover the permanent collection made up of works belonging to
the Fondation or the Arnault collection, as well as temporary exhibitions – two a year – and musical
events in the auditorium.
For the opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the artistic programme will unfold in three
successive stages between October 2014 and July 2015, each stage will include a temporary exhibition,
a partial presentation of the collection and a series of events.
The first stage – October to December 2014 – invites the public to a ‘voyage of creation’ essentially
devoted to the discovery of the architecture of the building with:
•An exhibition on the architecture of Frank Gehry for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. This exhibition
will be presented in dialogue with the first major European retrospective of the work of Frank Gehry,
organised simultaneously at the Centre Pompidou.
•The presentation of several emblematic works from the permanent collection.
•A group of special commissions related to the architecture of the building including a work by
The auditorium of the Fondation will present several performances most particularly two musical
•A recital by the pianist Lang Lang on 28 October 2014.
•A series of 8 retrospective concerts by Kraftwerk, the pioneering
electronic group, from 6 to 14 November 2014.
The two following stages, opening in December 2014 and July 2015 will be announced shortly.
To book tickets:
For reservations for free tickets for the open days
For concerts by Lang Lang and Kraftwerk
For visits to the Fondation from Monday 27 October 2014
Visit the website www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr
Inaugural Open House Weekend free (with reservation)
Friday 24 October from 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday 25 October from 10.00 – 02.00 in the morning
Sunday 26 October from 10.00-23.00
Opening hours from 27 October
27 October – 3 November 2014 and from 20 December 2014 to 4 January 2015 (school holidays)
Open everyday from 10.00 – 20.00, and late night Friday until 23.00
Opening hours from 3 November (outside school holidays)
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12.00 – 19.00, and late night Friday until 23.00
Saturday and Sunday 11.00 – 20.00
Closed on Tuesdays.
Closed on 25 December 2014 and 1 January 2015.
Address: 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi – Bois de Boulogne – 75116 Paris
Metro: Line 1 Station Les Sablons, exit Fondation Louis Vuitton
Fondation bus: departures Place Charles de Gaulle, at the end of avenue de Friedland, every 15
Station Vélib, Fondation Louis Vuitton stop
Bus 244, stops in front of the Fondation at weekends
Full rate 14 euros
Reduced rate of 10 and 5 euros
Family rate of 32 euros (2 adults + 1 – 4 children aged under 18)
Disabled visitors requiring special access: free
Tickets give entry to all the areas of the Fondation and to the Jardin d’Acclimatatio
Kraftwerk concert: 60 euros
Visitor information: +33 (0)1 40 69 96 00
The restaurant, Le Frank, will be open on the ground floor from 27 October. The Fondation Louis
Vuitton has appointed to run the restaurant Jean-Louis Nomicos,
chef étoilé, and proprietor of the Paris restaurant Les Tablettes in avenue Bugeaud.