Fondation Louis Vuitton - Table of Contents

Exterior - Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum
8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris, France

Fondation Louis Vuitton - Official Website

 Construction: March 2008- October 2014
Frank Gehry
See also Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain   ...   
New World Center, Miami, FL

Photos from right to left of the museum - "stern" to "bow"

"Stern" with four "billowing sails," with a total of twelve "sails"

"Placed on a pool, the building was conceived as a yacht or vessel fitting into the natural environment, between woods and garden, playing with light and mirror effects."  Fondation Louis Vuitton Official Website (online Dec. 2015)

Artificially pumped cascading waterfall

A "billowing sail" ... These sails are made of 3,584 laminated glass panels, each unique and specifically curved to fit the shapes drawn by the architect.  ... Four photos below reveals the supporting structure:

Inside the "billowing sail"

Inside the "billowing sail"

Inside the "billowing sail"

Inside the "billowing sail"

Another "billowing sail"

Entrance ... The art gallery sections - not the "sails" - are covered in a white fiber-reinforced concrete called Ductal ... The 3,600 glass panels for the "sails"and 19,000 concrete panels that form the façade were simulated and then molded by industrial robots working off the common model.

LV - Louis Vuitton.
The side of the building facing Avenue Mahatma Gandhi, right above the ticket booth, holds a large stainless-steel LV logo designed by Gehry.


To the left of the entrance, again the "yacht/ship floating on water"

White "hull" with two "billowing sails"

White "hull" with two "billowing sails"

It looks like no museum you’ve ever seen—not even Gehry’s monumental Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, whose 1997 opening laid down the gauntlet of innovation in museum architecture for a generation.

Set in a shallow basin of flowing water, the Fondation’s central, white-clad tower (nicknamed the Iceberg) is attached, via elaborate webs of steel and wood, to twelve gigantic, curved panels of milky glass that cover it like a second skin. These panels, reminiscent of clouds or the wind-filled sails of a ship, reflect the Bois’s surrounding landscape of sky and trees [Bois de Boulogne—an artificial wilderness at Paris’s western edge more than twice the size of Central Park], imbuing the structure with the illusion of lightness and movement.


Frank Gehry's Masterful Fondation Louis Vuitton Opens in Paris
By Mayer Rus
September 30, 2014

With its shiplike exterior of billowing glass sails, the 126,000-square-foot, 2.5-story building suggests an avant-garde update of the Jolly Roger, gracefully piloted by Peter Pan through the Bois’s verdant sea of centuries-old trees with a trail of pixie dust in its wake [Bois de Boulogne—an artificial wilderness at Paris’s western edge more than twice the size of Central Park].

Of course, museums don’t hang paintings on glass walls, so the architect and his team essentially conceived a building within a building. The Fondation’s distinctive shell, which Gehry refers to as the Verrière, consists of a dozen of the monumental glass sail forms, all variously angled and overlapping. Underneath sits an assemblage of irregular volumes, known as the Iceberg, containing 11 galleries for art. The Iceberg is clad in luminous white panels of fiber-reinforced concrete, while the Verrière is held aloft by a network of steel trusses and wood beams in a bravura feat of architectural acrobatics.

To observe city-mandated height restrictions, the architects excavated the site and erected the structure below grade, set within a reflecting pool that underscores its nautical air and suffuses the edifice with shimmering light. A terraced waterfall at one end adds a kinetic element.

Photos and their arrangement © 2015 Chuck LaChiusa
| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..