Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for your chance to win a $20,000 Flight Centre gift card! Offer ends 24 May 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

The new Fondation Louis Vuitton reflects its Parisian surrounds as well as 19th-century glass and garden architecture.

It's been described as an iceberg, a fish and, most often, a glass ship.

Like all great architecture, the new Fondation Louis Vuitton has evoked a flurry of labels and strong emotions, though its architect, Frank Gehry, aimed to inspire creative contemplation. "I wanted to create a feeling that was warm and engaging, usually absent from modern, minimalist architecture," he says.

One of a few private museums in France, the building was commissioned and funded by Bernard Arnault, one of France's wealthiest men, a long-time patron of the arts and the chairman of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. Arnault's cultural initiative, which French reports put at a cost of about $135 million, aims to support artists and enrich the nation's legacy of contemporary art, alongside LVMH's existing artistic sponsorships.

Eleven exhibition galleries house a permanent collection, including works from Arnault's personal collection, and temporary exhibits with direct participation from artists. The inaugural exhibition, open until 16 March, traces Gehry's vision and the building's six-year construction.

A modular auditorium, which doubles as an exhibition space, will host events from chamber music to fashion shows.

The building's 12 sails can be glimpsed above the treetops of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris's 16th arrondissement, within the 18-hectare Jardin d'Acclimatation, the children's park opened by Napoleon III in 1860. For Gehry, the tranquil site conjured images of Marcel Proust and the life of Parisian flâneurs. "I was acutely aware of the gravitas of the location so there was added pressure to create something I've never done before," he said at the building's opening in late October.

It's his first project in Paris since the Cinématèque Française, completed in 1994.

It's easy to liken the monument to a glass iteration of the Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, but that overlooks the singular aesthetic and technological marvels of the 85-year-old architect's chef d'oeuvre. Gehry designed the monument as an assembly of blocks: white panels of high-performance concrete wrapped in 12 sails comprising 3,600 translucent panels, moulded and fired in a custom-built kiln in Italy. "You're never completely inside and never completely outside," says Gehry of the building's transparent nature. A mirroring effect reveals the structure's bones from the exterior and the natural surroundings from the interior. This is most apparent on four asymmetrical terraces with sweeping panoramic city views - with La Défense business district at one end, the Bois de Boulogne gardens at the other - and in Le Frank, the museum's restaurant suffused with natural light.

Guided by the lightness of 19th-century glass and garden architecture, and equipped with 21st-century technology, Gehry conceived of the project as a vessel anchored in a cascading water basin, which he hoped would express the perpetual movement of the modern world.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Ave du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116, open Mon, Wed, Thu noon-7pm, Fri noon-11pm, Sat and Sun 11am-8pm, closed Tue. Tickets are 14 euros and allow access to the Fondation and the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Visit the Frank Gehry retrospective at the Centre Pompidou as a primer, until 26 January, 2015.


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn
23.02.2017
Emirates launches First Class lounge access on an economy budget
10.02.2017
Hot Hotels: Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques, Madrid
30.01.2017
Where to dine in New York right now
18.01.2017
Skiing, sailing and mountain climbing tours in Antarctica
18.01.2017
Emma Knowles on the streets of Paris
20.12.2016
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Scents of place

Among the famed flower fields surrounding the perfumed Prove...

Loire Valley cruising

Lured by the promise of plain sailing and Sancerre, Kendall ...

Local arena

Tina Arena calls Paris home these days. Here, the Australia...

On the road from Bordeaux to Limoges

A leisurely road trip from Bordeaux to Limoges promises long...

A Guide to Secret Provence

On the quiet backroads of the Vaucluse in north-west Provenc...

Glory in the Basque

A mysterious cultural island where peppers and pelota rule, ...

Peninsula Paris

The frescoes are repainted, the stonework repaired, the chan...

Paris by scent

Katrina Lawrence follows her nose to 10 of the French capita...

Alain Ducasse's Riviera

Alain Ducasse’s landmark Monte Carlo restaurant Le Louis XV ...

The Paris collection

Seeking a pied-a-terre in the French capital that’s well loc...

Lay of the Loire

Celebrated for its chateaux and natural beauty, the Loire Va...

How to eat your way through Nice

From Nice’s finest pan bagnat to original salade Nicoise, ho...

Bordeaux travel guide

There’s much more than wine to savour in Bordeaux, writes Li...

Guillaume Brahimi's Paris

The ultimate bread and butter, mind-blowing lobster ravioli:...

Marseille travel guide

Now linked to London by a direct Eurostar service, Marseille...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×