Frank Gehry’s latest oeuvre will soon open in the City of Light

With two weeks until the official public opening, Gehry Partners has completed the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. The multipurpose building is located in the historic Bois de Bologne and will house an art gallery, a 350-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, educational facilities, a restaurant, bookstore and additional event spaces.

Designed as a contemporary nod to traditional 19th century glass garden buildings, the entire structure sits on a specially conceived water garden. The core consists of an arrangement of white blocks that have been clad in 19,000 panels of fiber-reinforced concrete. Surrounding the blocks are twelve giant “sails” made from over 3,600 glass panels and supported by wooden beams. The “sails” reflect the changeable surface of the water as well as the adjacent trees and garden greenery, and visitors can climb under the “sails” to absorb the exceptional views or visit the roof-top garden.

The glass roof allows for the collection and reuse of rain water as well as improving its geothermal power, which means the Fondation has received a HQE (Haute Qualité Environmentale) certification noted as Très Performant – the equivalent of LEED Gold

The project pushed the very limits of architecture technology. A massive collaboration between than 400 people, the multitude of contributors submitted “design models, engineering rules and assembly constraints to a common web-hosted 3D digital model, which intelligently adapted itself to design requirements.” New software was developed specifically to address the sharing and working needs of the design.

The building’s opening will unfurl in three steps, beginning with an exhibition of Frank Gehry’s body of work that will run in parallel with a Frank Gehry exhibit at the Centre Pompidou.


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