From an early sketch drawn on a blank page in a notebook to the translucent cloud which is at the edge of the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, Frank Gehry endlessly sought to “design, in Paris, a stunning vessel symbolising the cultural calling of France”.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton can be found in the northern part of the Bois de Boulogne, more particularly in the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Impossible to miss, you will recognise it owing to its particular shape, which is suggestive of a sailboat with sails that are blown up by the west wind.
This “twisted” architecture is the signature mark of Frank Gehry, a visionary architect who creates shapes never imagined before, and revolutionises the usage of glass in order to create a light, bright, unique and innovative building. Frank Ghery is also the architect, inter alia, of the French cinémathèque, which is also situated Paris.
The Architecture Alone Is Astounding
Overlapping layers of glass and metal float over a central “iceberg” which is covered in fibre-reinforced concrete and stone, with no apparent beginning or end. Your eye continually moves from one facet to the next, never becoming bored. There are 12 glass “sails” in total that are made from 3 600 panes and supported by wooden as well as steel beams. The wooden support struts add to the nautical theme and give off a warmth that would have been missing had everything been covered with reflective material.
From the lowest level of the building, where you’ll see a reflecting pool and stepped fountain, to the rooftop terrace. Here you’ll see amazing views of the skyscrapers of La Défense. It’s very easy to see why this is considered to be one of Frank Gehry’s most unique and pioneering projects.
The collection of art that is shown changes on a regular basis however the current collection concentrates on two ideas:
- Pop, and
The Pop section showcases art that is inspired by consumer society, television, cinema and the internet where you can place Australian sports bets (almost like Andy Warhol), while the Music/Sound section showcases art in the format of environments, sculpture and video in which sound or music is essential to the piece.
The Artistic Gesture
Already this stupendous architectural exploit has taken its place among the iconic works of 21st-century architecture. Frank Gehry’s creation, which reveals forms that were never previously imagined until today, is the reflection of the inimitable, creative and innovative project that is the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
In order to produce his first sketches, Gehry took his inspiration from the grace of late 19th-century glass and garden architecture. After this, the architect produced numerous models in wood, plastic and aluminium, playing around with the lines and shapes, giving his future building with a particular sense of movement. The selection of materials became self-evident: an envelope of glass would cover the body of the building, an assembly of blocks that is referred to as the “iceberg” and would bestow upon it its volume and vitality.