HAPPENINGText: Victor Moreno

The next floor is a space dedicated to the materials. Paving stones made from Rocherons Doré limestone from Burgundy and the glass revealing “the iceberg”. Here are some samples of the steel and glue-laminated timber that assemble the anchorage and support to the glass sail structure. All the components were custom-designed using a 3D digital model. This “Digital Project” was made by a design software package developed by Gehry Technologies allowing engineers to explore the feasibility of the project.

Images of Gehry’s drawings at the LVF. Photo: Victor Moreno

Next up is design. Both Bernard Arnault and Frank Gehry were aware of starting a journey to create an art foundation to become a monument and representation of Paris cultural heritage. Parallelepiped-shaped volumes, internal spaces and circulation areas as well as the building’s external envelope compiled the studies and series of models and drawings.

© Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton, 2014

How would this extravagant masterpiece – 154 meters long and 46 meters high – fit in the urban landscape of Paris and the heritage of the 16th Arrondissement? The fourth level, “Context”, explains how the building blends into Paris and suits the environment. Not an easy task to mingle with the creations of Napoleon III and Baron Haussman but Gehry found an echoing note from the 19th century greenhouses and the combination of glass and metal such as the former Palmarium and the already mentioned Grand Palais.

© Iwan Baan / Fondation Louis Vuitton, 2014

Last but not least is the rooftop terrace: Paris, so-called because indeed you can see all of the city from above with a panoramic view of the Bois de Boulogne and the district towards the center through the transparent sails. The terrace undulates from the 19000 the ductal panels for the “iceberg” – white segments all joining together around the curves of the building.

To visit the Fondation you can easily take public transport. It is located in the opulent west side of town, Bois de Boulogne of Paris’ 16th Arrondissement, known as the “royal route” to the west of Paris, which begins at the Louvre and Place de la Concorde continuing along Champs Elysées past the Grand Palais to the Arc de Triomphe. Along with all these renowned Parisian landmarks, Bernard Arnault and Frank Gehry have accomplished their dream of creating the next jewel in Paris’ crown of iconic monuments.

Architectural Journey Frank Gehry
Date: August 30th – October 15th, 2023
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (Friday and Saturday till 23:00)
Place: Fondation Louis Vuitton
Address: 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris

Text: Victor Moreno
Photos: Courtesy of Fondation Louis Vuitton

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