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Fondation Louis Vuitton

"Amazing exhibition!"

  • February 2016

reviewed by Gary from France

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Fondation Louis Vuitton


Dazzling modern architecture

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Who is it for?

Paris for you
Paris for you
Paris for you

Why you will love it?

Let's admit it. La Fondation Louis Vuitton (Louis Vuitton Foundation) is the most beautiful modern building in Paris. Built in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, the building designed by Frank Gehry is a work of art in itself that houses sculptures, paintings and installations by a number of contemporary artists.

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About this place

8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris
Line 1/2/6 - Charles De Gaulle Etoile Line 1 - Les Sablons

Wednesday : 12:00 pm - 19:00 pm
more less
Monday : 12:00 pm - 19:00 pm Tuesday : Closed Wednesday : 12:00 pm - 19:00 pm Thursday : 12:00 pm - 19:00 pm Friday : 12:00 pm - 23:00 pm Saturday : 11:00 am - 20:00 pm Sunday : 11:00 am - 20:00 pm
1 January 1 May 25 December

Our Insiders' Article

The most beautiful modern architecture in Paris

On October 20, 2014 something unusual appeared in the middle of the Bois de Boulogne at the edge of the Jardin d'Acclimatation. This building with asymmetric forms partially hidden by large glass and steel sails is no other than the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Its impressive and graceful structure will invite you to dream. Take a quick glance and you'll mistake it for a futuristic boat, gracefully floating atop a lake. The Fondation Louis Vuitton is without a doubt the most beautiful modern building in Paris and as such deserves a visit even if the current exhibits and events do not particularly interest you.
The visit will transport you to another world because, after all, “creation is a journey”.

How to get there and how much does it cost

The most practical and obvious way to get to the Fondation Louis Vuitton is to take an electric-powered shuttle that leaves regularly from the Avenue de Friedland, right next to the Arc de Triomphe. These little buses, called BlueBus, are both sleek and non-polluting.
It is also possible to get there by foot from the metro station Les Sablons (line 1 – take a 10 min walk into account) or by Vélib'.
The bus 244 stops in front of the Fondation only on the weekend.
It is possible to access the Fondation Louis Vuitton by entering the Jardin d'Acclimatation (entrance fee).

Parisianist Tip: Check out the restaurant inside the building.

The Building: Who is Frank Gehry?

The Fondation Louis Vuitton building was conceived by American-Canadian architect Frank Gehry, considered one of the best modern-day architects. Among his greatest achievements are the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Disney Concert Hall in Las Vegas, both of which attest to Gehry's trademark style privileging asymmetric and original structures.
It was in 2001 when Bernard Arnaud, head of the group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), met Frank Gehry and put him in charge of the Fondation project. From the first mock-up to the amazing final product, every step of the process is currently displayed on the ground floor of the Fondation.

Parisianist Fun Fact: A number of patents were filed, notably in order to hang the swirling glass and steel sails that needed to withstand strong gusts of wind. Recognition and prizes were awarded to the architects.

The Patios: Views of the Bois de Boulogne and the Eiffel Tower

The main reason to visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton is for the sheer beauty of the building. Its glass and steel sails and its contorted architecture are impressive enough.
But the cherry on top are the views from the patios at the top of the building that lend way to a deeper appreciation for the complex beauty of this audacious architecture. Those who aren't seduced by architectural beauty will certainly find pleasure in the views from the patios.
Overhanging the Bois de Boulogne and the Jardin d'Acclimatation, a few patios even offer a nice view of the Eiffel Tower. 

The Exhibits: contemporay art with paintings, sculptures, objects and films

The artists currently exhibiting at the Fondation Louis Vuitton are decisively contemporary and, like many modern creations, their work does not cater to everyone's taste.
Contemporary art is divisive and appreciating a work means confronting the inherently subjective emotions that it provokes.
The collection at the Fondation Louis Vuitton is no exception: while some will cry out “genius” in admiring a piece, others will wonder how such a refined brand could stand to exhibit a “thing” that could have been made in kindergarten class.
Among the artists present at the Fondation Louis Vuitton are Ellsworth Kelly, Sarah Morris, Olafur Eliasson, Villar Rojas, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.

The fashion giants highlights his sponsorship of the Arts

Bernard Arnaud's idea behind launching the Fondation Louis Vuitton was to promote art and culture and to spur sponsorship by the group LVMH.
Since the project's official presentation, the head of the LVMH affirmed that “the construction of a foundation insured a place for the sponsor at its center. It would open up a new space for dialogue with a large public and offer a platform to artists and intellectuals for debate and reflection”. 

Sponsorship, but at what price?

Many polemics and questions have been raised since the initiation of the project. First off, the construction of the Fondation Louis Vuitton was quite difficult since the association for the protection of the Bois de Boulogne revoked the building liscense for several months during 2011.
La Ville de Paris and the Fondation Louis Vuitton were required to make modifications to begin the construction again.
The question of access to culture is another polemic that has surfaced since the Foundation's opening. 
Finally, among the works on display is a video projection in the basement promoting brand products from the LVMH group. Where is the line between artistic creation and a publicity stunt?

Parisianist Fun Fact: it is said that half of the initial cost of 100 million euros was paid by French taxpayers. But the final cost, which greatly surpassed the estimations, has not been released to the public. The building will become the property to the City of Paris in 2065.

Conclusion: on a sunny day

A visit to the Fondation Louis Vuitton for modern art lovers is obvious since the greatest of modern-day artists are on display.
Art-lover or not, we recommend visiting simply to bask in the magnificence of this building whose structure and views are equally stunning.
To enjoy the place and its views to the max, shoot for a sunny day. Unfortunately, all this comes at a price because in today's world, beauty isn't free and art is a luxury. 

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