Twisting Frank Gehry tower housing contemporary art centre takes shape in Arles

Our wish is to integrate this cultural complex and its programme into the artistic, intellectual, ecological, social and economic fabric of Arles
– Maja Hoffmann

New construction images have been revealed showing a typically sculptural Frank Gehry-designed tower rising in Arles, southern France.

The twisting, mountain-like building will be the new home of LUMA Arles, an experimental contemporary art centre where artists, researchers, and creators collaborate on multidisciplinary exhibitions and projects. Facilities will include studios, workshops, galleries, a café and restaurant, and a large glass atrium open to the general public.

When complete, the tower will climb 56m (183.7ft) above Victor Hugo Avenue. Constructed using stainless steel and clad with 300 metal panels across a 5,000sq m crystalline facade, it will resemble the irregular rock clusters found around Arles.

The project broke ground in April 2014 and is likely to be completed in 2019, when the building could be launched alongside the new National School of Photography. It will form part of a wider cultural complex based in the Parc des Ateliers – a sixteen-acre plot that was once home to railroad workshops constructed in the 1800s. Five industrial buildings are being restored by Selldorf Architects and will host artists residencies, a hotel and a restaurant. The entire site will sit within a public park designed by landscape architect Bas Smet.

LUMA Arles is being funded by Swiss contemporary art collector Maja Hoffmann and her LUMA Foundation. It will reportedly cost around €100M (US$117.8, £92.1m) in total.

“Our wish is to integrate this cultural complex and its programme into the artistic, intellectual, ecological, social and economic fabric of Arles and the surrounding region,” Hoffmann has previously said. “This is why we are, step by step, creating an environment that promotes meetings and interactions between artists, thinkers and the public, for the benefit of all.

“This also allows us to look at the bigger issues cities face all over the world and to foster a sense of individual and collective responsibility in addressing them.”

Frank Gehry  LUMA Arles  art  architecture  France  design  Maja Hoffmann 
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New construction images have been revealed showing a typically sculptural Frank Gehry-designed tower rising in Arles, southern France. The twisting, mountain-like building will be the new home of LUMA Arles, an experimental contemporary art centre where artists, researchers, and creators collaborate on multidisciplinary exhibitions and projects. Facilities will include studios, workshops, galleries, a café and restaurant, and a large glass atrium open to the general public. When complete, the tower
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It is being constructed using stainless steel and clad with 300 metal panels across a 5,000sq m crystalline facade / Victor Picon
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