Opening building Foundation Louis Vuitton
F. Gehry - F. Hollande - B. Arnault - A. Hidalgo - F. Pellerin - H. Arnault ©2014 Rindoff Charriau


« A Dream Come True »
by Bernard Arnault
The Fondation Louis Vuitton opens an exciting new cultural chapter for Paris. It brings the city a new space devoted to art — especially contemporary art — and above all a place for meaningful exchanges between artists and visitors from Paris, from France, and from the entire world. By encouraging spontaneous dialogue, the new Fondation seeks to inspire both emotion and contemplation.

Posted 13 December 2014

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This is a distinctive cultural initiative because the Fondation is private. It has been made possible thanks to the corporate patronage of LVMH and the Group’s companies, notably Louis Vuitton, reflecting the values shared by all the people of LVMH and its shareholders.
The Fondation transcends the ephemeral present by creating optimistic momentum and embodying a passion for artistic freedom. It is very much a dream come true.
Indeed, the houses of the LVMH Group — Louis Vuitton in particular — have always thrived thanks to the excellence of their creations, and have thus long contributed to an art de vivre steeped in the humanist tradition.
Their success is deeply rooted in our artistic and cultural heritage. For many years I have sought to share this success with artists, creative talents, thinkers, and the general public, especially young people. Since 1991, when Jean-Paul Claverie joined us, LVMH has become one of France’s leading patrons of the arts, providing extensive support for cultural heritage programs and youth outreach initiatives, as well as humanitarian actions. We very early began exploring the idea of a foundation, an institution that would tangibly express our commitment to art and culture. We have never wavered from this course and now, in the autumn of 2014, we have sailed to our destination, making this dream a reality.

Louis Vuitton Foundation
©Iwan Baan - Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Following fruitful collaborations in the 1980s with artists such as Sol LeWitt, César and Olivier Debré, Louis Vuitton initiated a stimulating dialogue between the visual arts and the brand’s own creativity. Bob Wilson, Olafur Eliasson, and Ugo Rondinone decorated Christmas display windows, while Marc Jacobs asked Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama to work directly on creations for Louis Vuitton. The result was a fresh and vibrant new vision of Louis Vuitton.
LVMH’s many years of corporate patronage and Louis Vuitton’s collaborations with artists resonate powerfully with my personal passion for artistic creation. This passion is what fueled my decision to build the Fondation Louis Vuitton, bringing Paris a place that not only pays tribute to artists, but at the same time inspires them in a virtuous circle of creativity.
Frank Gehry is one of the greatest architects of our times, and I knew he would meet the challenge of designing an amazing monument of 21st century architecture.
He proved a true visionary, embracing the values of excellence and unyielding professionalism that have always defined Louis Vuitton. His building is a veritable masterpiece and is itself the subject of the exhibition on the ground floor of the Fondation, designed specially for the opening by Frédéric Migayrou to offer insights into this remarkable work. This exhibit inspires an enriching dialogue with the retrospective of Frank Gehry’s work currently taking place, with our encouragement, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
See Agenda
Frank Gehry’s building is in fact the first artistic statement by the Fondation, initiating an approach to artistic creativity that debuts with the public opening and will progressively affirm its vocation.
The Fondation will devote itself above all to evolving trends in art and to contemporary creation. At the same time, it will propose a sense of historical perspective, notably vis-à-vis 20th century modern art. This will allow visitors to become more familiar with and approach newer creations. Indeed, looking at the past may be the best way to become more receptive to the most unexpected ideas. The Fondation Louis Vuitton invites us to see works and creations that have been collected or commissioned for their relevance to specific preferences and clearly
expressed approaches.
For the opening exhibition, the Fondation Louis Vuitton invites visitors on a “voyage of creativity” through a discovery of the architecture and emblematic works from the permanent collection, including creations by Frank Gehry to Gerhard Richter via Thomas Schütte, Pierre Huyghe, Christian Boltanski, Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, Sarah Morris, Adrián Villar Rojas, Bertrand Lavier, Taryn Simon, and many others. Each of them has contributed to the dynamics of our approach. I could never fully express our gratitude for their help in realizing the artistic endeavor led by Suzanne Pagé, with her widely-recognized experience and inventiveness, supported by the engagement of her entire team.
I would like to thank each of our visitors for the personal spirit of discovery that has drawn them here. My most sincere hope is that we are able to share the enthusiasm that has motivated all those who helped make this extraordinary project a reality.
I am reminded of something Picasso once said that might well have served as our inspiration throughout this project: “Art wipes the soul clean of the dust of everyday life. A cleansed soul restores enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is what we — and future generations — need most.” Bernard Arnault
President of the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Adrian Villar Rojas, Where the Slaves live, 2014 — Terrasse Ouest
The lost fragment of an unknown story, a multicolored monumental sculpture dominates the West Terrace of the Fondation. Inspired by the building and its natural setting, this work, the title of which evokes the Latin etymology of the term “vernacular,” takes the shape of a mysterious object resembling a cistern, a recurrent motif in Villar Rojas’ work. Made of organic and inorganic materials arranged in several strata, this strange cylinder is a genuine “living
object,” subject to continual transformations over time. Echoing the dialogue with nature established by the architecture, the work harbors a disconcerting and fascinating mystery.
©Fondation Louis Vuitton Martin Argyroglo

Birth of the project

« The Triumph of Utopia », by Jean-Paul Claverie
The idea of a foundation came up at my very first meeting with Bernard Arnault on 28 August 1990, at a lunch he had invited me to. At the time, I was an adviser to the French minister of culture, Jack Lang. A few months later, Bernard Arnault asked me to join him at the LVMH group. In the course of the many conversations that followed, we discussed and developed the idea of a foundation implementing and giving permanent form to an artistic, cultural and educational programme. The dream took over twenty years to come true In the 1990s, before it was put in place, LVMH embarked on a series of exhibitions – nearly forty in the end –, books and commissions, and acts of patronage outside its walls, which would constitute the base of the Fondation’s identity. But with this project, it would be taking on the role of fully-fledged cultural and artistic player.
An emblematic site For Bernard Arnault, there could only be one setting for such a project: Paris. But we still had to find an emblematic site where the dream of the Fondation could be built. The Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, at the western end of Paris, always represented a real prospect. Grounded in the popular image of Paris, the garden evokes the magic of the world of childhood and of the city in the late nineteenth century. LVMH held the concession of the Jardin d’Acclimatation thanks to its acquisition by Marcel Boussac in the 1950s, not long after his encounter with Christian Dior in 1947 and the creation of the famous ‘Maison’ that was acquired by Bernard Arnault in the 1980s. I suggested that a study be made of the planning rules. The only way we could build on this listed site would be by demolishing existing buildings and replacing them with something new, square metre for square metre. In 2001, the acquisition of an insalubrious and asbestos riddled building, the Bowling de Paris, on Avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi, provided a sufficient area for reuse – some 11,000 square meters out of the total twenty hectares of the site. In developed form, this constitutes the exact overall area of the spaces comprising the Fondation, built on the exact location of what, under Napoleon III, were the aquarium and the Palmarium, a giant glasshouse comparable to the Grand Palais, which also inspired Frank Gehry.
Bernard Arnault, the builder
The son of a renowned construction entrepreneur, Bernard Arnault is passionate about
architecture. He has put his faith in the new generation in Asia, Europe, and the United States. It occurred to me that there was a deep affinity between the work of Frank Gehry and Bernard Arnault’s vision of the building that between ourselves we were already referring to as ‘La Fondation.’ I was constantly trying to arrange for him to discover the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. We visited it together on November 24, 2001. I can still hear his words to me: ‘How could someone imagine something so incredible? And, above all, build it?’ It was a revelation. The Fondation Louis Vuitton, as a building by Frank Gehry in the Bois de Boulogne, no doubt came into being as a result of that aesthetic and emotional epiphany. On the way back to Paris, he told me he wanted to meet Frank as soon as possible. The meeting took place in December 2001, in New York. When the two men parted, Frank left with an invitation to come to Paris.
The trip to Paris was made in February 2002. This was the second, decisive phase. He was delighted with the Jardin d’Acclimatation. I was able to glimpse the extent of Frank’s familiarity with French culture when he mentioned Proust and the idea of recapturing the past, along with the great iron and steel structures of the century of the Industrial Revolution. I also became aware of his passion for Paris and for France, and of what the project discussed with Bernard Arnault meant to him emotionally.
The third phase began in the plane taking Frank back to Los Angeles, with a flurry of sketches filling a whole book in the course of the eleven-hour flight. Frank vouchsafed to me that these first sketches, to a large degree spontaneous, came to him from a kind of inner ‘photographic film’. He was careful not to hinder them or filter them through dogmatic assumptions. ‘I just look at what is before my eyes. Afterwards, I simply react. Drawing makes me happy. After that, you go to the model, then comes the computer and, finally, the studio. It is also important to emphasise what I think is the very rare quality of human relations that Frank sought to develop with everyone involved in the project. A comment by Frank sums it all up: ‘If you are happy, it makes me happy.’ In the course of the meetings between the client/patron and the architect, the project that took shape became increasingly captivating and seductive. Frank lent a sensitive, attentive ear to Bernard Arnault’s ideas. His architectural gesture was expressed freely and with full artistic coherence. He was able to assimilate technical, environmental and administrative constraints and turn them into assets. A real bond developed between the two men and the two teams. In this way, a utopian project became a reality. Thanks to him, LVMH has a new star, and Paris a new emblematic building.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is also a sign of confidence and an act of great generosity toward future generations: in a few decades, the building will become the property of Parisians. It is the gift of a patron of the arts in which he has expressed all his passion for creativity, and of a business leader who has mobilized human talents and material resources to bring his contemporaries something truly soul-enriching. Jean-Paul Claverie Advisor to the Chairman

A walk through light, a site-specific ensemble of paintings, a film, an anthropological inquiry, a sound creation, a sculpture, a video walk, the forms taken by the commissions are multiple.
Occupying different spaces of the building, both inside and outside, they are witness to the responses of the artists in vited to produce work in relation to Frank Gehry’s architecture. Janet Cardiff and George B. Miller, One Hundred and Forty-Six Steps, 2014 — Walk through the building Since 1995, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller (b. 1957 and 1960 in Canada) have jointly conceived installations and immersive audio walks in which reality and fiction intermingle. Videos, objects, and sound elements combine to stratify the real environment with past or future imaginary events, inviting the viewer to become the protagonist of fragmentary and enigmatic narratives. Having come to international attention during the 49th Venice Biennale (2001), the duo took part in documenta in Kassel in 2012.
The Fondation is surrounded A yellow halo floats around the Grotto like the light of an unknown star. Venturing into it amounts to a kaleidoscope of golden scintillations. Along this passageway, which follows the length of a reflecting pool, Eliasson has erected a series of triangular columns of various widths. Two sides of the columns, which are lit from the inside, are covered in mirrors, the third, by a mosaic of yellow blown glass. As the visitors are invited to circulate among them, their
steps activate an endless play of successive reflections — the water, the architecture, the columns, and the visitors’ own images — scattered and diffracted in each other’s surfaces.
Olafur Eliasson - Inside the horizon
©2014 Olafur Eliasson
Photo:Iwan Baan

A building between the woods and the garden

Created in 2006 on the initiative of Bernard Arnault, the Fondation Louis Vuitton marks a new stage in the sponsorship policy of the LVMH group and its associates and the crystallization of activities that it has undertaken over the past twenty-five years to support art, culture and heritage.
Five years after meeting the architect Frank Gehry, Bernard Arnault launched a major project with him, collaborating with Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, Minister of Culture, Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, and Yves Carcelle, Chairman of Louis Vuitton.
Both a company foundation and a private cultural initiative, the Fondation Louis Vuitton was born through shared enthusiasm and determi nation, and is a commitment to a region, a city and a country. Located in the heart of Greater Paris, in the Bois de Boulogne and on the dividing line between Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine, just on the edge of the Jardin d’Acclimatation, the Fondation Louis Vuitton makes a decisive contribution to the cultural landscape of the Ile de France and will renew interest in the area west of Paris. Built at the heart of a historically and culturally important site, this structural innovation enriches our national legacy and the world’s cultural heritage.
It marks a new stage launched by a renewed orientation:
— A long-term commitment to a specific location and to perpetuating an institution.
— A major act of philanthropy for Paris with the construction of an exceptional building in the public domain of the city, and the signature with the municipality of an occupancy contract for 55 years.
Propelled by its vocation in the general interest, the Fondation Louis Vuitton confirms its commitment to contemporary art and to making it accessible to as many people as possible. To encourage contemporary artistic creation both nationally and internationally, the Fondation Louis Vuitton maintains a permanent collection, commissions works from artists, and organizes temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and multidisciplinary installations. Its priorities include implementation of an educational function, particularly to young publics.
A building between the woods and the garden
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is located on the frontier between the Bois de Boulogne and the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a well-known part of the capital frequented for over a century by generations of Parisians. This 19th century landscaped park was designed by Alphand and Barillet-Deschamps and has been a source of inspiration for architects since its earliest days. The landscaping project that accompanies the construction of the Fondation building recalls the original spirit of the place. Based on a study of the site’s history, it recaptures the overall effect of the Jardin d’Acclimatation: walks have been renewed, architectural elements have been restored
to life, a wide range of trees and plants will renew the park’s botanical and historical heritage.
In the course of a stroll one meets numerous visual surprises, starting with the vast sails of the foundation building emerging from the foliage of centuries-old oak and beech. The foundation’s project is thus above all a project for the site itself. From the very beginning, with Frank Gehry’s first walks through the Jardin d’Acclimatation, it was a question of creating a building that communicated with nature with the history of the environment, with the woods and the glass and iron architecture of the Jardin at the end of the 19th century.
A new monument for Paris
Frank Gehry has designed a building that, through its strength and singularity, represents the first artistic step on the part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. This large vessel covered in twelve glass sails, situated in the Bois de Boulogne, on the edge of avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, is attached to the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Set on a water garden created for the occasion, the building blends into the natural environment, amidst the wood and the garden, playing with light and mirror effects.
The building stretches over a total surface area of 11000 m2, including 7000 m2 publicly available. It offers 11 galleries dedicated to the presentation of the collections, contributions from artists and temporary exhibitions, along with a 350-seater auditorium with a modular design, in other words some 3,850 m2 of museum space. The visitor can complete their tour with terraces that enjoy exceptional views over Paris, La Défense and the surrounding area.
From the Eiffel Tower to the canopy of the Bois de Boulogne, from the Jardin’s Pigeon Tower to the skyscrapers of La Défense, the visitors can discover, from the Fondation’s heights, brand new Grand Paris views.
The museum’s privileged setting in this landscaped garden, its creative and innovative
architecture and the new cultural hub that it intends to represent for as many people as possible are designed to attract both local families and tourists from all over the world, along with architecture and contemporary art enthusiasts.
Inseparable from the image of its building and encompassing a large-scale artistic project, the Fondation Louis Vuitton looks to form an integral part of the Parisian landscape and become an international benchmark in the years following its inauguration.
A new landmark in 21st – century architecture

From the very first sketch, the building that Frank Gehry designed for the Fondation Louis Vuitton is its inaugural artistic gesture. The building designed by Frank Gehry combines all of the architect’s methods, codes and modes of expression and marks a new step in his work. Guided by Proust’s memory, he took his inspiration from the lightness of late 19th-century glass and garden architecture to make his first sketch. Through the creation of a host of mockups, the architect has successfully given a sense of momentum to the building designed as a yacht or a vessel: set on a water garden, rising among the Jardin d’Acclimatation’s century-old trees, it blends in seamlessly with the natural environment.
The choice of the materials expresses the idea of transparency: a glass shell covers the
body of the building, an assembly of blocks known as the “iceberg”, giving it its volume and movement. The definitive mock-up was then scanned to provide the digital model for the project. The architect took a revolutionary approach to the work with glass in particular to bring his vision to life: “Our wish was to conceive a building that would evolve with the passing of the hours and with the changing light so as to create an impression of the ephemeral, and of continual change”. This architectural challenge is one of the iconic architectural achievements of the 21st century.

Olafur Eliasson - Inside the horizon
©2014 Olafur Eliasson
Photo:Iwan Baan

Frank Gehry, Architect

An internationally renowned architect, Frank Gehry lives in Los Angeles and over the past forty years has designed major buildings, primarily in the United States and Europe. These include his Santa Monica residence, which served as his manifesto, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the DZ Bank Building in Berlin, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the IAC Building and the New York Tower. He has been teaching at Yale University for the past few years. Driven by a constant quest for innovation and meaning, project after project he pushes
back the boundaries of traditional architecture to create powerful and poetic buildings.
— Education
University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles and Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
— 1979 Residence in Santa Monica.
— 1989 Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Vitra Museum in Weil-am-Rhein. The same year,
Frank Gehry receives the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
— 1993 Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis.
— 1994 Inauguration of the American Center in Paris, the first building designed by Frank Gehry in France (now the Cinémathèque de Paris).
— 1996 Dancing House, Prague.
— 1997 Opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
— 2000 Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
— 2001 First meeting with Bernard Arnault and first sketches of the Fondation.
— 2006 Sydney Pollack pays tribute to him with his film “Sketches of Frank Gehry”.
— 2007
 AC Building, New York.
— 2011 New York Tower by Gehry.
— 2014 Biomuseo, Panama ; Fondation Louis Vuitton. Read Article>
Using aerospace technology to support Frank Gehry’s creation
Frank Gehry’s creativity calls for constant technical innovation. Both in the project’s very design and in undertaking the work, the Fondation Louis Vuitton venture has overturned the principles of architecture. From the very first stages, all of the partners involved in the project learnt how to handle and relied on a unique tool: Digital Project, a 3D software developed by Gehry Technologies based on the Catia tool from the aircraft manufacturer Dassault. This software’s exceptional performance made it possible to create the complex shapes imagined by Frank Gehry, in extremely close collaboration with the different teams working simultaneously on a joint model.
Team spirit along with real time coordination of all of the sectors of activity and know-how involved in the Fondation project represented a decisive asset in carrying out this exceptional venture. Grouping all of the design offices in one and the same place, which made it possible to optimise the design studies and foster an indispensable everyday dialogue between the teams,
represents a unique development process in France for construction on this scale. Carrying out the project, which led to the creation of life-size prototypes on the site or in the laboratory, was also an opportunity for the engineers and architects to rethink and improve working methods both during the preliminary studies and on the site.
Unfailing attention was paid to the choice and manufacture of the Fondation’s materials. The glass production represents a decisive innovation. The 13,500 m2 of the twelve glass sails are made up of unique panels, developed using innovative technologies. A specific furnace was created to meet the requirements in terms of curvature and slenderness set by the designer. The “iceberg” is itself covered in 19,000 white sheets of ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concrete, known as
Ductal®. Each plate is manufactured from a mould and a specific template according to its position in the building. Finally, the design of the assemblies and the manufacturing technique for the layered glue-laminated wooden beams that support the glass sails were at the heart of the research undertaken to deliver the project.
Talents, skills and innovations. The energy and originality of the architectural creation are expressed through the extremely complex shapes and volumes that required real technical and technological prowess to create.
The glass roofs, the iceberg and the glass shells were formed using unique pieces, requiring the development of specific technologies for their production. Innovations that obliged Frank Gehry and his agency Gehry Partners supported, on the site, by the Studios Architecture agency, to join forces with partners to design the work.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton was assisted by QUADRATURE INGENIERIE for the
project coordination. SETEC, RFR, T/E/S/S and ALEP represented the prime contractors, VINCI being the general contractor.
The achievement of this project was awarded several engineering prizes in France and the United States. Gehry Technologies received the BIM (Building Information Model) Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects. In France, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and the Ministry for Industrial Recovery awarded the Grand Prix National de l’Ingénierie to Setec Bâtiment, Quadrature Ingénierie, RFR and T/E/S/S/. Bonna Sabla received the Trophée FIB (Concrete Industry Federation) for the Ductal® vacuum moulding. In September 2013, Harvard included the Fondation’s building in its curriculum for its architecture studies.

Bertrand Lavier - Empress of India
©ADAGP, Paris 2014
Photo: Fondation Louis Vuitton, Marc Domage

The art program

« Openings »,
by Suzanne Pagé
From October 2014 to March 2015 the inauguration of the Fondation Louis Vuitton will take place in three stages. Each will include a temporary exhibition, an exhibition of a specific and more or less extensive selection from the Collection — comprising works belonging to the Fondation and from Bernard Arnault’s personal collection — and multidisciplinary events.
The first phase, in October 2014, is largely devoted to architecture. The second and third stages, in December 2014 and March 2015, will underline the expansive vision Bernard Arnault has outlined for the Fondation and its activities, ranging from the latest developments in contemporary art to a retrospective look at some of the founding elements of modernism.
For the opening, reflecting the unique heritage of Frank Gehry’s architectural oeuvre, we have taken a holistic approach that features the building itself. A special exhibition dedicated to Frank Gehry examines his highly original technical solutions, as well as the principles underpinning his architecture.
The many stages of the process are presented, beginning with the initial, crucial thrust of creative inspiration as expressed in drawings, and then through models that embody the complex evolution of his creative thinking.
To give visitors a better understanding of the stunning uniqueness and sophistication behind the formal and technical inventiveness of Frank Gehry’s building, the interior itinerary proposed has been left very open. The focus is both on pieces specially commissioned for the building and on a targeted selection of works that are emblematic of the Fondation’s decisions for its Collection (Hang 1). Performances of music, dance, and poetry have been conceived concurrently to spark a dialogue with the architecture.
The commissions refer to specific points or moments in the development of the building, or to the resonance of the building itself — Auditorium, Grotto, terraces — as well as to the archaeology of the site with respect to the architect and all those who played a role in its creation. A deliberate decision was made to commission works specifically for the inauguration. These works are extremely diverse, spanning a variety of forms: video walk, anthropological survey, site-specific paintings, film, sound piece. As they go from the bottom to the top of the building visitors will thus discover installations by Ellsworth Kelly (Auditorium), Olafur Eliasson (Grotto), Sarah Morris and Taryn Simon (Galleries 1 and 2), Cerith Wyn Evans (Gallery 10), and Adrián Villar Rojas (West Terrace), while Janet Cardiff
& George Bures Miller propose a special video walk that goes against the flow. An outdoor project isalso planned: Daniel Buren has been asked to devise a visual pathway leading from the Sablons me tro station to the entrance of the Fondation.
Ellsworth Kelly, who recognizes being explicitly inspired by the architecture, has imagined a “total artwork” based on bright monochrome panels that function like the pure, vibrant notes of a colorful musical composition; his stage curtain, meanwhile, movingly reprises his first Spectrum painting made during his first stays in Paris (1948–1954). For the Grotto, Olafur Eliasson has created a multisensory experience that plays on the vagaries of vision through a series of columns of light where surfaces of yellow mosaics alternate with mirrors, evoking a “winter sun” that shines like a distant, mysterious, heavenly body.
The video walk by Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller proposes an original visual and aural exploration of the entire building, playing on reality and fiction and on past and present, using overlapping time frames to short-circuit space.
The film made by Sarah Morris — with music by Liam Gillick — explores Frank Gehry’s creative process, from his Los Angeles studio to the implantation of the building in its environmental, urban, cultural, and social setting.
Taryn Simon, meanwhile, has conceived an anthropological project that looks at the various players involved in the creation of the building, employing texts, photographs, and objects that represent souvenirs of their personal involvement in this shared adventure.
A sound sculpture devised by Cerith Wyn Evans is composed of 20 clear glass flutes arranged in an ellipse, each playing one note of a composition that the artist conceived as a transcription of architecture into sound.
Finally, on the West Terrace, Adrián Villar Rojas has landed a strange and timeless object, the flotsam of some unknown story. Realized in a cistern-like shape — a recurring element of his work — it evokes the artist’s presence through several personal belongings embedded in it. Organic and inorganic materials have been used in this “sculpture-as-living-object,” which will undergo continuous transformation, intensifying its emotional impact.
The Collection is represented, in this first stage of the inaugural show, by a deliberately limited, targeted selection. This collection has been shaped by the affirmed and identity forging choices of Bernard Arnault. It seeks to exclude no part of the history from which it emerged, nor ignore the variety of media, languages, and styles, reflecting the full scope of a constantly expanding field and the turbulent reality of multiple, accelerating, thought provoking changes.
The search for new works remains very open on both the geographical and conceptual levels, reacting spontaneously to current vibrations, while retaining a critical perspective.
This Collection, which is continually being formed, primarily comprises works produced from 1960 onward, and is electively expanding with works up to the present day. Seeking neither the objectivity nor the comprehensiveness expected of a public collection, it is passionate and attempts to share the shock and wonder generated by certain works whose ability to break rules reinvents our relationship to the world. It therefore primarily follows emotional directions that trace, from a sensorial standpoint, four main lines: contemplative, popist, expressionist, and music/sound.


VINCI, the construction company

The Louis Vuitton Foundation, an extremely complex structure
06/25/2014 - France : The Louis Vuitton Foundation building, which has been compared to a cloud, a chrysalis and a sailing ship, will open to the public in Paris in the autumn of 2014. The Foundation's building, a centre of art and culture designed by architect Frank Gehry, was a one-of-a-kind technological challenge. VINCI was selected to build it with the help of its many partners and to coordinate the project
The Louis Vuitton Foundation, an extremely complex structure
It is made up of 12 huge glass facades and takes inspiration from the long tradition of glass buildings such as the Grand Palais in Paris as well as the Winter Palace and the Palmarium, the glass and steel structures that graced the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the 19th century and attracted Parisians wishing to explore and stroll in the park.

A work of art in its own right, the Louis Vuitton Foundation building presented a wide range of technical challenges. VINCI rose to them all by leveraging its general contracting capabilities and mixing the expertise of VINCI Construction France,VINCI Construction Grands Projets, and VINCI Energies to organise the work collectively and come to grips with the uniquely complex project.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation at the edge of Paris's Jardin d'Acclimatation park is not easy to describe. Bernard Arnault chose Frank Gehry, the architect of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney concert hall in Las Vegas, among other buildings, to design a suitable setting for the Louis Vuitton Foundation's contemporary art collection, which is set to open in the autumn of 2014.

The initial wood and paper mock-up of the project appeared to defy the conventions and rules of construction with its inventive volumes, audacious cantilevered overhangs and layered combinations of elements and materials. Frank Gehry submitted sketches and mock-ups rather than blueprints and the project gradually crystallised, as it went back and forth between the designer and his engineering office, into a scale model and a 3D model.
In terms of construction, the main feature of this project is the lack of a dominant works package. Usually this is the concrete structural work and the other works packages are grafted onto it. Here, the three main works packages – civil engineering, envelope and glass facades (with the first two breaking down into the metal frame and concrete work and the "icebergs" and glass envelopes) – are completely intertwined in terms of structure and construction.
Overall, the structural and envelope design took 1,500,000 hours to complete. After the summary geometry unit was set up, the first step consisted in correcting the reference surfaces, which were initially very complex, in order to be able to build them. This six-month "streamlining" process made it possible to start industrial fabrication of the 3,600 curved elements for the glass facades, the 19,000 fibre cement panels of the facades and their bearing structures. For example, the system for installing the cladding panels made of ultra high performance fibre-reinforced concrete was re-designed to meet the architect's complex surface requirements.
To facilitate dialogue with the project manager, VINCI Construction France decided to use Digital Project, the 3D design tool of Frank Gehry's engineering office – a first – and then set up a Building Information Modeling type organisation – another first – to give the five design offices (of four different nationalities) involved in the structural engineering, and later the suppliers and subcontractors (80 in all), access to the data and enable them to exchange information.

To organise the work, draw up the schedule for the teams and define the resources needed (tooling and lifting), the company again turned to the BIM model to set up a lean management inspired method, the Last Planner System (LPS), which brings together all the people involved in a work segment to orchestrate it in detail within the context of the worksite as a whole. Each work segment in one of the 22 predefined building zones had to accommodate the overall assembly. Starting in May 2012 and for 18 months, the latter was dictated by the assembly of the glass facade elements, which had to be phased according to the structure's ability to support temporary forces.

A third innovation was needed to enable the various tools and systems used by the different design offices to communicate and exchange information with each other: the "collaborative structural platform" developed by the VINCI Construction Grands Projets Design and Structural Engineering department, which won a Management prize in the VINCI 2013 Innovation Awards.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation project adopted an exemplary environmental programme and was selected as a pilot project during the drafting of a new HQE® guidance document dedicated to cultural buildings.


Fondation Louis Vuitton
8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
F-75116 Paris, France
+33 (0)1-40699600

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