When Bernard Arnault met Frank Gehry on the 10th of September 2001 to offer him the challenge of creating a flagship for culture under the name of Louis Vuitton Foundation, it was somehow prefigured that the face of the world had to change. 

opening louis vuitton foundation photography by floriana castagna | S/TUDIO

So did the face of New York. So did the face of Paris - being offered the ornament of a futuristic Melvillian opus. Thus when wandering around the maze of this monumental structure, one can dream he would cross Lewis Carroll passionately discussing with M.C. Escher. 
Rekindling the aging area of Bois de Boulogne by mixing up culture and architecture in the swirls of a translucent shell, the space is dedicated to contemporary arts - a neo-legacy.

Genesis of an achieved utopia
In the twisting and turning of Frank Gehry’s inspiration was progressively 

elaborated this architectural UFO. Conversely responding to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by using the metal as a structure and the glass as an envelope, it evokes the most picturesque adventures. Gehry started his researches over a cubic building - very much classical rectangulary shape on pilotis - and the exhibition rooms renders very well the many steps of creation of his visions. Complex elaboration adaptating to the essence of the park in which it is located - a garden initiated by the man for the man. Artificial water point hosting this glass & concrete amphibious Moby Dick turned into a ship.

opening louis vuitton foundation photography by floriana castagna | S/TUDIO

opening louis vuitton foundation photography by floriana castagna | S/TUDIO

Giant of the most-advanced techniques

The apex of the project: when icebergs are adornments from inside a boat - and not natural ennemies coming from the darkest shorelines - the true felicity and longevity of the building are contained in its narrative & visual DNA. First made out of simple sheets of paper in the creative process, some of the most advanced models shown in Gehry’s exhibition room are modeled with 3D printing techniques.
The carcass of this mollusk with a hard shell is made of about 7000 glass 

plaques also called glass veils - doubled with a tiny white spots serigraphy
inside to give it enough resistance as well as a pleasant natural lighting to the insides. 
But behind techniques are also men - closing the loop of history - thanks to the fierce brains and labour forces of Gehry Partners’ based in Los Angeles - in a shed as an anthouse where the most brilliant experts are reunited to comply with a genius of Gehry’s kind.

opening louis vuitton foundation photography by floriana castagna | S/TUDIO

opening louis vuitton foundation photography by floriana castagna | S/TUDIO

Fine Arts in Contemporary

 The Foundation welcomes an ensemble of 11 galleries, a studio, 4 main terraces, a library, a restaurant and a hi-tech auditorium. In between a selection of established pieces from Bernard Arnault’s collection - Gerhard Richter, Christian Boltanski, Ellsworth Kelly, Pierre Huyghes or Thomas Schütte - to a series of commissioned works - Olafur Eliasson’s Grotto, Taryn Simon, Cerith 
Wyn Evans - the volumes enable a soft and pleasant wandering that enlights

the essence of the arts. Upcoming programmation of finest choices musics - classical to electro - to take place in the auditorium. 
This is were the crossing starts - but one can only feel delighted by such a prowess. This is what can happen when two great men paths cross - Parisian are attributed a new vessel in town, an inescapable experience.

Opening Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris

Photography by Floriana Castagna & Text by Charlotte Robert | S/TUDIO