Frank Gehry Architecture
15.10.2015 - 15.12.2015
I love Louis Vuitton. I love Frank Gehry architecture. Last year, when I read that the Louis Vuitton Foundation was opening an art museum on the outskirts of Paris and they had chosen Frank Gehry to design it, I was over the moon with excitement. The Foundation opened the museum in October 2014. The new building is adjacent to the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the western outskirts of Paris. It caused a bit of an uproar before it opened when the village didn't want the Foundation because there is only one narrow road leading to the building. The villagers didn't want their pristine Jardin disturbed. It worked out fine, although the village around the Foundation is lovely with much green parkland to enjoy and can understand their concerns. It's only about four miles from the center Paris, but it definitely feels like suburbia.
Frank Gehry is a genius. He designed the building to complement the Jardin. He used his usual glass and unusual surface materials. The materials change continually as they reflect the sun, the clouds, and the light. Honestly, I didn't care about the art inside, although there is much to see in the various galleries. The building changes as you walk around it. It is shaped like a sailboat, with translucent sails that seem to float through the air in the sky. The simple but elegant signage announcing the name Louis Vuitton, is perfect. The cascading fountain is tranquil and unique. I have longed to go to Bilbao to see Gehry's Guggenheim there. After seeing this stunning structure, now I know I must go see it. Soon.
The Jardin d'Acclimation alongside the Foundation is a beautiful park and I'm sure it's even better in spring and summer. There is a fee for the Jardin, but there is a free public park across the street with paths for hiking and jogging. A short Metro ride from central Paris and you can spend a day enjoying the amazing architecture of one of the world's most creative architects, the art in the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and serenity of the surrounding parks. The village is worth seeing, as well and has beautiful apartments, some quiet cafes, and little else to spoil the tranquility.