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Tadao Ando architect

Project: The Pinault Collection, Bourse De Commerce, Paris, France


Tadao Ando has told CLAD about his design for the ‘The Pinault Collection, Bourse de Commerce’, a new contemporary art museum in Paris which will house the vast collection of billionaire businessman François Pinault.

Pinault’s plans to transform the French capital’s historic Bourse de la Commerce into the museum were unveiled earlier this year, and were given the go ahead by the Paris City Council in July. Ando was selected to work on the project following a previous collaboration with Pinault to renovate Venice’s 17th century Punta della Dogana customs house as an art museum.

Speaking exclusively to CLAD, Ando vowed to create a building for Paris that “will stand the test of time.”

“First and foremost, I create buildings for the people who use them,” he said. “Architecture in general is a public space, regardless of the typology. People will gather in this museum, and so it must be well designed – that is my responsibility.”

He revealed he will approach the Bourse de la Commerce renovation in the same way that served him well in Venice. “The basic concept is the same – to take an old place and inside build a new world,” he said. “The most important challenge is maintaining this old classical context and building something new which looks towards the future.”

The Bourse, built in the 19th-century by architect François-Joseph Bélanger, is a circular structure topped with a high glass dome located close to the recently revamped Les Halles culture centre. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo – who championed Pinault’s vision and describes the project as “a gift to the city” – wants the renovated building to reinforce the city’s reputation as home to some of the world’s greatest art museums.

To ensure the building serves the Paris public as best it can, Ando is working on the project with local architect Pierre-Antoine Gatier and a group of young French students.

“I involved students on the Punta della Dogana design to improve international collaboration and to teach them the difficulties of architecture and the rewards it brings,” he said. “They spent more than three months working on that project and I was very satisfied because they overcame many hardships and took away much satisfaction for themselves.

“My intention is to use this same approach in Paris. Collaboration is a positive step forward for the next generation and involving young students helps realise the concept of integrating the old and the new – the theme that runs throughout these projects.”

The Bourse de la Commerce art museum is slated to open at the end of 2018.

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