Commissioned by François Pinault, Japanese architect Tadao Ando has transformed the space into a gallery which will house over 5,000 artworks from Pinault’s private collection. The key: to maintain the original structure while breathing in new life to this art museum. The contemporary dialogue of the Japanese architect and the historical context successfully brings together the past and present in this ambitious restoration project.
“The spatial layout of the Bourse de Commerce is designed to create an intense and more subtle dialogue between new and old.” – Tadao Ando
Ando has always been known for his concrete work, and so it is not surprising to see his design language neatly integrated into the historical space of this 18th-century stock exchange building. It is for such reasons that the highlight of the space features a perforated concrete structure that wraps itself along the bottom half of the building’s rotunda.
On ground level, the nine-metres cylindrical wall leads the eyes up to the original 19th-century mural and glass oculus roof, while the walkway that curves along the top of the wall allows visitors to be up close to the original interiors that was once high above eye level. Those visiting the museum should also visit the basement, whose load-bearing monolithic wall creates a cinematic concrete foyer in monochromatic grey.
The museum, which comprises ten exhibition spaces, will house the Pinault Collection belonging to François Pinault, the owner of Kering luxury group whose portfolio includes brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent.
Currently ongoing in the Rotonda, the museum’s highlight, is the ‘Urs Fischer‘ installation Untitled (2011) by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. Reaching almost 40 metres in heigh, the wax sculptures are life-sized replicas of sculptures from the Mannerist period created to fit the magnificent scale of the the exhibition hall.