In April 2016, it was announced that François Pinault’s extensive personal collection of modern and contemporary art had found a permanent home at the Bourse de Commerce in central Paris. Earlier this week, the honorary chairman of the French luxury goods conglomerate revealed his plans to transform the historic 19th century building into a futuristic modern art museum with the help of Tadao Ando, a renowned Japanese architect responsible for the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in Saint Louis and Osaka’s Church of Light.
A former stock exchange, the Bourse de Commerce is nestled in a recess between numbers 40 and 42 rue du Louvre, on the western end of the garden at Les Halles. Until as recently as this year, it served as the offices of the city’s chamber of commerce. For its incarnation, Ando will install a larger-than-life concrete cylinder directly below the rotunda of the circular building. In his comments, Ando revealed that his idea is to create a “circle within a perfect circle,” for “an epicentre of art in Paris.”
The Japanese architect’s scheme boasts five floors— including three levels of gallery spaces, a 300-seat basement auditorium, and a restaurant on the top floor. Nearly 10,000 square feet of gallery space will house Arnault’s more than 3,500 modern and contemporary art pieces, which includes works from Damien Hirst and Mark Rothko.
In an effort to preserve the building’s unique features— such as the glass cupola and the double helix stairway — the structure will be reinstated to its original state as per an agreement made between Pinault and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.
After an approximately €108 million renovation, the Pinault Collection will hold a 50-year lease. The city of Paris will receive US$7 million per year, plus royalties. The museum, which will be directed by Martin Bethenod, is expected to open to the public in 2019.
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