What do you get when you put a renowned architect together with a very wealthy foundation to build a repository for a contemporary art collection? The answer was unveiled last October when the magnificent Frank Gehry designed Fondation Louis Vuitton opened its doors to rave reviews. Curious to see what all the fuss was about, I took advantage of a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June to hop on the Number 1 Métro line to Les Sablons station to visit this new marvel of architecture and art.
A clearly marked route takes visitors through the historic Jardin d'Acclimatation designed after Hyde Park in London to provide urban dwellers with a green space for recreation and botanical studies. A legacy of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie, this beautiful park features pavilions and pools as well as a palmarium, an aviary and horse stables, and is as popular today as it was when it opened 150 years ago.
After a short walk the landscape changes and soon the Foundation's amazing structure appears, its glass and white curves rising above the treeline. Conceived by Frank Gehry as billowing sails around an "iceberg" core, the stately edifice seems poised to embark on a magical journey.
The 126,000 square foot interior features an auditorium, with a mural by Ellsworth Kelly...
Its hard to say what was more impressive, the building or the art, but either is worth a return visit. I leave you with my farewell view of this architectural jewel, the "stern" of the "ship" sailing off to parts unknown!