LVMH will tap on the expertise of architect Frank Gehry once again to create a centre for applied arts beside the Louis Vuitton Foundation. The celebrated Canadian-American architect, aged 88, will be tasked with renovating and transforming a disused museum. The site is located a stone’s throw from the futuristic Foundation Gehry on the western edge of Paris in the Bois de Boulogne.
The new centre, to be called the Maison LVMH – Arts, Talents, Patrimoine (Heritage), will be created at an estimated cost of 158 million euros (US$167 million), of which 50 million to 80 million euros will be employed for asbestos removal. Stated a joint statement on the centre made by the luxury group and the City of Paris on March 8: “The new centre will be dedicated to artists, live performances and to the applied arts and French savoir-faire.”
The centre will include two halls for concerts, exhibitions and workshops, and a panoramic restaurant on the top floor. The project will be developed in “close collaboration with the heirs of Jean Dubuisson,” the statement said, noting that Dubuisson’s grandson Thomas Dubuisson, also an architect, has worked for Gehry at his Los Angeles base.
French President Francois Hollande attended Wednesday’s news conference announcing the project, along with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Gehry and LVMH Group’s Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault. Hidalgo said in the joint statement that the project “sends a powerful message to young generations: artisanal craftsmanship offers tremendous potential and opportunities that we encourage them to discover and seize.”
The original function of the eight-storey building to be revamped to house the art centre was a museum of folk art and traditions. The structure, designed in the 1970s by architect Jean Dubuisson, has been closed since 2005.