Tadao Ando reveals vision for cylindrical art museum in Paris' historic Bourse de la Commerce

The most important challenge is maintaining this old classical context and building something new which looks towards the future
– Tadao Ando

The first design images have been released showing Tadao Ando’s plans to convert Paris’ historic Bourse de la Commerce building into a new contemporary art museum for the collection of billionaire businessman François Pinault.

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.

Ando plans to install a 9m (29.5ft) high concrete cylinder in the centre of building – which one housed the city’s grain store.

The interior layout – described by Ando as a “circle within a perfect circle” – will take the form of a classic rotunda with arcades. New corridor space will be created between the outside of the cylinder, which spans 30m (98.4ft), and the existing interior fac?ade, and will lead visitors around the periphery. Stairwells will allow access to three levels above, and one below.

There will be 3,000sq m (32,300sq ft) of exhibition spaces, including a double height gallery designed to house large-scale artworks from Pinault’s billion euro art collection. In addition, there will be a 300-seat auditorium, a black-box theatre for video installations and experimental performances, and a restaurant on the top floor. Up to 2,000 people will be able to explore the museum at any one time.

Ando’s intervention, developed with Niney & Marca Architectes and restoration specialist Pierre-Antoine Gatier, will also see the Bourse de la Commerce’s huge glass and metal dome – classified as a Historic Monument – carefully restored, along with the structure’s fac?ade, interior murals, double-helix stairway and exterior fountain.

According to reports, the project will cost approximately €108m (US$122.7m, £95m). The Pinault Collection will pay the city annually to hold a 50-year lease.

According to Vogue, at a press conference unveiling the design, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “Paris has always been a city of creation, where for centuries creators come from all over the world to meet and exchange. Paris is a legendary city of dreams that puts stars in the eyes of those who know it and those who would like to know it. As a citizen and mayor, art inspires me. This city is fundamentally optimistic about building the future, and valorising our beautiful capital is what is being offered here.”

Construction is set to begin in the next few months, and the museum is expected to open to the public in 2019.

Ando has previously told CLADglobal that his design “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 as his acclaimed renovation of Venice’s 17th century Punta della Dogana customs house – which he also transformed into a museum for Pinault.

“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.”

He also explained how he will work with young and aspiring French architects on the project.

“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.”

Tadaoi Ando  Francois Pinault  Anne Hidalgo  architecture  design  Paris  France  art  Bourse de la Commerce 
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TADAO ANDO: The architect reveals his vision for François Pinault's Paris art museum

FEATURE: CLAD people – Tadao Ando architect

The first design images have been released showing Tadao Ando’s plans to convert Paris’ historic Bourse de la Commerce building into a new contemporary art museum for the collection of billionaire businessman François Pinault. 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. Ando plans to install a 9m
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Ando plans to install a 9m high concrete cylinder in the centre of building / The Pinault Collection
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