Five things you need to know about the new Frank Gehry designed Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris’s new
must-visit art hub. By Diana Campbell-Betancourt The building—a gift to Paris The Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris is France’s first major privately funded cultural institution. Commissioned by the 65-year-old chairman of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, the result is breathtaking and one of the most impressive architectural feats created in our lifetimes. The building will become the property of the city in the future. The setting—contemporary folly in a historical park Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry in his signature style, the carved glass sailing atop the 11,000 sq mt Foundation creates an illusion of the building floating over the historical park of Bois de Boulogne. The façade replicates the structure of a ship and its glass panels create an illusion of movement with the changing light of the day—among the museum’s ongoing exhibitions is one dedicated to his realisation of the building. The long design journey Bernard Arnault wanted the museum to be an emblem of Louis Vuitton’s brand values of excellence and professionalism. The first conversations between Arnault and Gehry began over 10 years ago! The brand takes centre stage as a Gehry designed logo adorns the façade. Everything from the acoustics in the auditorium to the terraces, which were designed to view Paris from all angles, are impeccably finished to the smallest detail. While the entire city watched the construction of the building over the past decade, the
Clockwise from top: Frank Gehry with Michelle Williams at the opening; by Oliver Beer; Adrian Villar Rojas’s installation the glass façade of Louis Vuitton Foundation replicating a ship.