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François Pinault and Tadao Ando unveil plans for $121M Paris art museum

Published 30th June 2017
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François Pinault and Tadao Ando unveil plans for $121M Paris art museum
Written by Jamie Robinson, The Spaces
This article was originally published by The Spaces, a digital publication exploring new ways to live and work.
French billionaire François Pinault has big ambitions for Paris' former stock exchange -- and he's enlisted Tadao Ando to realize them. The luxury goods tycoon has tasked the Japanese architect with transforming the storied Bourse de Commerce building into a new 32,000-square-foot gallery and exhibition space for his collection of contemporary art.
"In creating this new museum, I am writing the next chapter of my cultural project, whose goal is to share my passion for contemporary art with as broad an audience as possible," said Pinault. He already owns Christie's auction house and two museums in Venice featuring Ando interventions.
The protected building is said to be inspired by Rome's Pantheon, and features a soaring glass dome and elaborate frescoes. Ando will insert a cylindrical three-tiered structure inside the historic rotunda to create gallery space for artworks from Pinault's 3,000-piece collection, as well as an underground auditorium.
Slated to open in early 2019, the new museum is expected to cost around 108 million euros ($121 million).
"I thought that it should be up to me and my family to make the necessary efforts, and not to ask the state for funding," said Pinault, who has leased the building from Paris for 50 years.
Pinault -- whose holding company also controls fashion brands Gucci and Saint Laurent, among others -- has been trying to open a Parisian museum for decades.
Added Tadao Ando: "This is a project that calls on the people to recall France's proud identity as a country of culture and art and to renew their hopes for the future."
The museum will be steps away from the Louvre and the Palais Royal. It's also close to controversial 1970s shopping center Les Halles, which was given a makeover last year with the addition of a sculptural leaf-shaped canopy.