Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton opens in Paris

The new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris opens its doors to the public today. A large white building made of sail like structures with green grass and trees all around it.
The new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris opens its doors to the public today. Photography: Iwan Baan
(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

Created as a space to celebrate artistic creation in all its forms, the brand new Fondation Louis Vuitton (opens in new tab) was commissioned by Bernard Arnault and designed by celebrated architecture master and Wallpaper* guest editor Frank Gehry (see W*175); the latter's grand retrospective at the Centre Pompidou also opened in Paris earlier this month.

Located within the green fields of the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, the structure was created as a composition of white blocks (and is also known as 'the iceberg'). The building's twelve curving glass 'sails', supported by wooden beams, define its shape. Gehry was inspired by the lightness of 19th century glass and garden architecture. Transparency was key to the design.

Inside, eleven exhibition galleries will host temporary and permanent shows, from the foundation's collection. The project also includes an auditorium, meeting rooms, a café, a bookshop and education facilities. The views from the top terraces stretch across the park.

The new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris opens its doors to the public today. A large white building made of sail like structures with green grass and trees all around it.

The foundation is located within the green fields of the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Photography: Iwan Baan.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

An aerial view of the new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. A large white building made of sail like structures surrounded by trees and with a road next to it.

The design was inspired by the lightness of 19th century glass and garden architecture. Photography: Iwan Baan.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

The new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. A view of the building's twelve curving glass 'sails' which are supported by wooden beams.

The building's twelve curving glass 'sails' are supported by wooden beams. Photography: Iwan Baan.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

ADDRESS

Fondation Louis Vuitton
8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi
Bois de Boulogne
75116 Paris

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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).