"At first it was just a dream, seemingly an impossible dream. Then the dream became an ambition. And now, the ambition has become reality," says François Pinault of the new permanent home of the Pinault Collection inaugurated on May 22. Opening a permanent location in Paris was a dream the French patron of the arts had been cultivating for a long time, and it has now become reality with a new contemporary art museum in the heart of the city, between the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou, in the eighteenth-century Bourse de Commerce. As in Venice, where French businessman François Pinault appointed Tadao Ando to restore Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana to create the collection’s other permanent locations, the Japanese architect once again planned the historic Paris building’s restoration and conversion into a museum.
François Pinault explains why Ando was the natural choice for the task: “The rigour and purity of Tadao Ando’s minimalist aesthetic sensibility makes him, in my opinion, one of the few architects capable of establishing a subtle dialogue between form and time, that is, between architecture and its time, as he brilliantly demonstrated in Venice” .
The building required not only restoration but a major transformation worthy of its historic past and capable of adapting it to the needs of today’s museums. Tadao Ando’s project scrupulously respects the references and historic elements of the old Bourse de Commerce, but this does not prevent the architect from radically renewing the building. With a bold but simple gesture, Tadao Ando creates a geometric form that is pure on the inside: a circle within a circle. The board of trade building is circular, with a diameter of 38 metres, and the Japanese architect fits a cylindrical bare concrete volume with a diameter of 29 metres into it, leaving the space all around it empty except for connections to the exhibition galleries on the sides. This cylinder does not reach the dome, allowing daylight from the skylights above to be evenly distributed throughout the building. Around this new concrete volume are ramps leading to the exhibition halls, a solution which is definitely inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, while also referring to other works by Tadao Ando.
The Japanese architect’s project gives the new museum ten exhibition galleries which may be used as a single whole or as separate exhibition spaces. In addition to the exhibition and utility areas, the Bourse de Commerce contains a 284-seat auditorium with a foyer and an underground studio for audio-visual presentations.
Images courtesy of Pinault Collection pinaultcollection.com.
Organization of the Pinault Collection
François Pinault - President
François-Henri Pinault - President of the Board
Jean-Jacques Aillagon - Chief Executive Officer
Martin Bethenod - Deputy Chief Executive Officer Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection
Sophie Hovanessian - Chief Administrative Officer
Odile de Labouchere - Chief Heritage Officer
Caroline Bourgeois - Curator for the Collection
Matthieu Humery - Photography Curator for the Collection
Bruno Racine - Director of Palazzo Grassi — Punta Della Dogana
Project: Tadao Ando Architect & Associates with agence NeM / Niney et Marca Architectes
Location: Paris, France
CAPTIONS Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier
(01, 03-07) Photo Maxime Tétard, Studio Les Graphiquants, Paris
(02, 12-19) Photo Patrick Tourneboeuf
(08-11) Photo Marc Domage
(20-21) Photo Studio Bouroullec
(22-23) Photo Vladimir Partalo