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Fondation Louis Vuitton

Gehry Partners

Fondation Louis Vuitton
By Lucy Bullivant -
Poltrona Frau has participated in the project

The Jardin d’Acclimatation on the northern edge of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris is a world of timeless pleasures drawing in 1.5 million visitors a year. Inaugurated in 1860, the landscaped park was designed by Alphand and Barillet-Deschamps under the direction of Baron Haussmann, and contains 20 hectares of gardens: the oldest French amusement park, and a Zoo. Multitudes of thematic festivals, carnivals and workshops, and new features - an apiary, a new restaurant there, a period Japanese house - provide further exotic curiosities to keep people amused.
From October 27th, however, a new attraction of a different kind opens on its southern edge. From a distance, the new Louis Vuitton Fondation resembles an aviary or a gleaming contorted chrysalis, its internal body swathed by multiple glazed canopies, and poised as if in a state of expansion. Set on a newly created water garden, Frank Gehry’s latest building takes its inspiration from the lightness of the 19th century glass used for the Jardin’s Palmarium and Winter Palace, places for discovery and strolling.
It is really two buildings: the solid body at its heart houses 11 galleries, which will display works from the Fondation’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and artists’ commissions, is clad in white, smooth-surfaced, high-performance fibre-reinforced concrete. Around this, the 12 transparent glazed curved canopies are charged with a sense of change in nature. “I am trying to express movement and emotion. Static classical buildings are just that. Let’s see where technology takes us”, Gehry says.
His early sketches show a floating ship, a roof top garden with a glass roof. Based on structures of complex shapes and volumes, his architecture of complexity calls for advanced technical and technological skills of realisation. The building’s glass panels, conceived of by Gehry, a big sailing fan, as ‘sails’, while the...

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