Nicky Explores // Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris

Created at the initiative of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault by Frank Gehry (above), the Fondation Louis Vuitton, located at the edge of the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, supports French and international contemporary artistic creation and makes it accessible to as many people as possible.

The building offers 7000 m2 of usable floor space, 3850 m2 of museum space, 11 exhibition galleries, a restaurant, Le Frank designed by Jean Michelle Wilmotte and an auditorium which can seat up to 1000 guests. 

The magnificent space opened on Monday October 20th, 2014 by the French President François Hollande and Bernard Arnault, a decade after the initial conversations began. The Fondation Louis Vuitton asserts and continues LVMH and Louis Vuitton’s commitment to sponsoring the arts and culture. It enhances the heritage of Paris with a monument that symbolizes 21st century architecture. 

As a creator of dreams, Gehry has designed a unique, bold and emblematic building. Gehry took the transparent lightness of glass and the taste for walks punctuated by surprises as his inspiration. A visionary of daring and innovative architecture, from the invention of glass curved to the nearest millimetre for the 3,600 panels that form the twelve sails to the 19,000 panels of concrete that give the iceberg style walls their crisp whiteness. 

During our visit we caught the last month of nearly year long installation of Daniel Buren’s ‘Observatory of Light’. The twelve sails on the structure were covered by a staggering array of coloured filters that play on colour, projections, reflections, transparencies and contrasts allowing the building to be seen in a new light. 


Le Frank restaurant above, designed by Jean Michelle Wilmotte

A short history of the Louis Vuitton Trunk Series is presented on the walls of the Fondation Gift Shop

The artistic programme is vast, with a permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, artistic commissions and musical performances the Foundation is made up of works belonging to Bernard Arnault’s personal collection and the foundation of LVMH. Commissions have been awarded to several internationally renowned artists, Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, Taryn Simon, Sarah Morris and Cerith Wyn Evans. 


From an initial sketch drawn in a blank notebook, Gehry sat in the gardens of the space and sought to “design a magnificent vessel symbolising the cultural calling of France”. 


“We wanted to present Paris with an extraordinary space for art and culture, and demonstrate daring and emotion by entrusting Frank Gehry with the construction of an iconic building for the 21st Century.”

Bernard Arnault. 

Above, the space now Daniel Buren’s installation has been removed.

All future events at the Fondation can be viewed in their calendar here.

Images c/o LVMH, Iwan Baan & NDID

Nicky’s World May 2017