FOUNDATION LOUIS VUITTON BY FRANK GHERY

The Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation or “Foundation Louis-Vuitton pour la cre’ation” for has opened in Paris. The enormous building seems to tumble like rolling clouds of glass in the Bois de Boulogne adjacent to the Jardin d’Acclimatation. The structure is composed of a series of enormous glass arches that resemble the inflated sails of a great ship rising in an overlapping forward movement.  The glass sails surround a two story white central building called “the iceberg” that has several multi-level terraces and sits in a water filled lake complete with it’s own waterfall. The overall design was planned to resonate with the concurring theme of glass structures in Paris such as the Grand Palais, and the Palmarium which was built for the Jardin d’Acclimation in 1889.

The ‘Foundation Louis Vuitton pour la Creation” was conceived as an art museum and  cultural center and will be the permanent home of the charitable organization sponsored by LVMH and its Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. The purpose of the organization and the space is to promote the contemporary arts in France and Internationally. Therefore the  building has eleven gallery spaces of varying sizes, a voluminous auditorium on the ground floor that seats 350 people, and several roof terraces on different levels that are designed to host events, or house art installations.

Mr. Arnault met with Frank Ghery, the chosen architect, in 2001 and told him about the plans for the building and it’s location on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. The building project was presented in 2006 with a plans for completion and tentative opening in late 2009 or early 2010. A series of set-backs related to the location and protests by several groups that work to protect the park opposed the construction claiming it would disturb the verdant peace of the historic park. Although this set the schedule back a court battle cleared the space for development stating it as being “in the national interest” and “a major work of art for the whole world”. This cleared the area for construction which began in 2008. Once settled and moving forward, Suzanne Pag’e, then the Director of the Musee d;Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, was named the foundations artistic director. Ms Pag’e will plan and develop the museums program.

The museum will house the LVMH art collection amassed by Mr Arnault. This collection will be unveiled to the public and the collection includes worked by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gilbert & George, and Jeff Koons as well as other com assigned works by Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Elisson, janet Cardiff and eorge Burns Miller, Sarah Morris, Taryn Simon, Cerith Wyn Evans, and Adrian Villar Rojas. The opening will mount an exhibition of Mr Ghery’s own work and accomplishments. Mr Ghery himself has spoken to several artists who plan on participating on various artworks specifically designed or intended to fill the soaring sail-like spaces.  The opening event included a planned performance by Chinese pianist Lang Lang.