Fondation Louis Vuitton, Olafur Eliasson

Fondation Louis Vuitton – The newcomer in Parisian “wow-factor” architecture

The latest addition to the Parisian art scene is the imposing Fondation Louis Vuitton, located in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital. The building, also known as “The Glass Ship”, was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, “the most important architect of our age”, if you want to believe Vanity Fair.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

The main entrance to Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton – The story

Fondation Louis Vuitton stands next to Jardin d’Acclimatation, inaugurated in 1860 by Emperor Napoleon the Third and Empress Eugenia. Since the 19th century, Jardin d’Acclimatation has been an important recreational space for the Parisians.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Jardin d’Acclimatation

Construction of “The Glass Ship” begun in March 2008. It is said that Frank Gehry wanted his work to be at one with nature: “Like a ship floating in the middle of trees”. What do you think? Did he succeed?

Fondation Louis Vuitton

“The Glass Ship” (© Fondation Louis Vuitton)

Fondation Louis Vuitton

“The Glass Ship”

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Sails of glass

Olafur Eliasson – “Contact”

Olafur Eliasson’s “Contact” was one of the ongoing exhibitions on the day of our visit. I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of the Icelander’s work, that I left the museum feeling confused.  “Would I have enjoyed the building as much, if it was not for Olafur’s exhibition?”. Even our 6-year-old had immense fun “challenging” the artist’s light and sound installations, under the horrified gaze of the museum’s guards.

Olafur Eliasson

“Contact” by Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

“Contact” by Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

“Contact” by Olafur Eliasson

Practicalities

There is a “cute” shuttle bus that departs every 15 minutes from Av. de Friedland, near the Arc de triomphe de l’Étoile. It takes approximately 10 minutes to get to the museum and it costs 1€ per person. It’s recommended you buy your museum ticket online  from the museum’s website (http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en.html). The museum’s restaurant is outrageously expensive. You might want to skip it, unless taking a selfie with one of Gehry’s fish on the background is of utter importance to you or your IG followers. Nice selection of activity books for children at the museum’s shop.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Cute shuttle bus

Have you been to Fondation Louis Vuitton or any other of Gehry’s “wow”-buildings? What is your favorite?

6 thoughts on “Fondation Louis Vuitton – The newcomer in Parisian “wow-factor” architecture

    • VasilisM

      Thank you, Jill! I have not been to Bilbao either, but I hope to visit one day. That was my second Gehry building following the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, which was of a much smaller scale but impressive all the same. The man is a genius.

  1. Vasilis I have not been to Paris, well I have been to the airport but I don’t think that counts. I have been to the Guggenheim in Bilbao and certainly the similarity of style of Gehry can be seen here.

    • VasilisM

      Thank you for your comment, Sue! I haven’t been to Bilbao yet, but I hope to visit one day. I am sure you would love Paris. I don’t think there is any place in the world like it. It’s funny because it has always been my wife who wanted to visit Paris. It has never been high on my list, but now that we have been there twice in the last 5 years, I have become a bigger Paris fan than her. I even like the Parisians… 🙂

    • VasilisM

      I know what you mean. The good thing is that it’s a little bit outside the centre, so it doesn’t really “mess” with the more traditional architectural styles found elsewhere in the French capital. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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