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.