We’re packing up our monogrammed trunks and heading to Paris this fall. The reason? Well, we could all use a little Parisian getaway once in a while, but really it’s because the Louis Vuitton Foundation will open on October 27. After years of sketching, planning and building, the museum is finally ready to showcase the corporate art collection of LVMH Moët Henness Louis Vuitton in all its glory. The latest cultural and architectural Paris attraction will “encourage and promote contemporary artistic creation both in France and internationally.”
To do that, Bernard Arnault commissioned architect Frank Gehry to design the dreamy building, which resembles a glass cloud hovering over the treetops of the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Women’s Wear Daily reports that the structure covers 126,000 feet and contains 11 galleries, plus terraces providing panoramic views of Paris and the park in which it resides. The inaugural exhibition will be devoted to Gehry’s architectural project for the foundation. Of the rest of the art that’s set to be displayed, Arnault says, “We have a pretty eclectic mix, but it is true that I am quite involved in the choice.” Considering the fact that the building itself cost nearly 100 million euros ($136 million) to build, we’re betting the art that you’ll find inside of it will be pretty extraordinary (the group’s art collection is believed to include works by Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst, Serrra, Ugo Rondinone and Mark Rothko).
At the crux of the project, though, Arnault insists that, “This is a small payback to the public, and to our employees.” Always a proponent of art and the power of creativity, he intends for the foundation to serve as “a great capital of contemporary architectural and artistic creation…a place of culture, wonder and relaxation,” according to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Jean-Paul Claverie, an Arnault adviser and overseer of LVMH’s philanthropy, views the foundation as a “gift” to the city of Paris. Rest assured that if you can’t get yourself to Paris right away to see this marvelous structure, you can get your hands on a limited-edition Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton handbag as part of the house’s “The Icon and the Iconoclasts” project. They’ll arrive in stores in mid-October, so if you’re not booking airfare now, be sure to at least pencil in a trip to your nearest LV store.