Fondation Louis Vuitton is a spectacular Franck Gehry monument and a great place to discover contemporary art in Paris. 1 400,000 people visited the Fondation in 2017, establishing it as one of the top exhibition venues in the City of Lights. Set in the lovely Jardin d'acclimatation, a part of Bois de Boulogne, it is easily reachable by metro. Paris monuments.
Created and financed by the LVMH Group (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Guerlain, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy), the Fondation Louis Vuitton encourages and promotes artistic creation both in France and internationally. In 2006, the Fondation Louis Vuitton commissioned a spectacular cultural center and exhibition venue inaugurated in 2014. It is located in Jardin Acclimatation, a lovely amusement park in Bois de Boulogne, west of the city. The building of Fondation Louis Vuitton was designed by architect Franck Gehry, a Pritzker prize winner living in Los Angeles. Franck Gehry is most of all known in Europe for the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. He has also designed the Cinematheque Francaise in Bercy. His words:
"I dream of designing a magnificent vessel for Paris that symbolizes France's profound cultural vocation"
"To produce his sketches, Frank Gehry took his inspiration from the lightness of late 19th-century glass and garden architecture. He then produced numerous models in wood, plastic and aluminium, playing with the lines and shapes, investing his future building with a sense of movement.
The choice of materials became self-evident: an envelope of glass would cover the body of the building, an assembly of blocks referred to as the "iceberg", and would give it volume and vitality."
Locate Fondation Louis Vuitton on Paris map
Fondation Louis Vuitton opening hours are variable. Check official opening hours web site. To avoid the queue, buy your ticket in advance, enter freely Jardin d'acclimatation with your ticket through the gate to the right of the Fondation's main entrance and enter the Fondation through the backdoor.
Ticket price: 14 euros
Students and people under 26: 10 euros
"A magnificent vessel which symbolizes the cultural vocation of France", this is how the famous architect Franck Gehry imagined the Louis Vuitton Foundation. Nestled in lush greenery, the Jardin d´Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne (16th arrondissement), this iceberg surrounded by twelve glass sails is resolutely an emblematic building of the 21st century. To carry out this daring work, it was necessary to deploy innovative techniques, a multitude of state bodies and 1,500,000 hours of study.
The huge building spans 11,700 m² and exceeds 40 meters in height. 5 years of study and construction were necessary to raise this vessel above ground. Engineers spent nearly 1,500,000 hours of study to model this extraordinary building. Proof of the innovation needed to carry out the Louis Vuitton Foundation construction: 30 patents have been filed, in particular for the execution of the 3,600 glass panels covering an area of 13,500 m². The design offices spent 150,000 hours just for the mathematical modeling of the roofs. The twelve sails of laminated glass are connected to the main building - the iceberg - by an intricate frame made of larch, carbon steel and stainless steel. No less than 800 m3 of wood, 2,000 tonnes of steel and 1,500 tonnes of duplex stainless steel, or even 4.5 km of sleepers and 10 km of curved uprights, were needed to build this unprecedented framework. Engineering spent 20,000 hours designing this composite frame.
To achieve a building of such complexity, 2-dimensional plans would not have been sufficient to fully understand its construction. Thus, the choice of BIM - Building information model or Modeling of building data in French - was self-evident. Thanks to BIM, the project management was able to coordinate the work of the 60 state bodies necessary for the construction of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
The environmental approach was thought out from the start of the work, with in particular a clean work site approach during the work and a choice of materials with low environmental impact. The client has also opted for the use of rainwater to supply systems that do not require drinking water, such as cleaning the glass roofs and facades of the building or supplying the basin. The space heating and cooling system has also been designed with ecological concerns in mind. To do this, the engineers used geothermal energy drawn from water drawn from two water tables. The water circulates in a closed circuit through a heat exchanger which cools or heats secondary circuits. These secondary circuits are used by chilled water production units or by radiant floors. Then the water is injected back into the water table.