Louis Vuitton Fondation, Paris

Glassy Sailboat in the Middle of Paris

The “Louis Vuitton Fondation” is at the heart of the “Jardin d’Acclimacion” park in Paris, located in the Bois de Boulogne district. It provides 3,850 square meters of exhibition space for a large collection of contemporary art. The impressive shell of the building was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry. The American architect known for deconstructive architecture drew inspiration from the lightness of the glass and garden architecture of the 19th century. Glass is the most important material in the building for him, as it establishes transparency and, through its reflections, the impression of movement and change as the light shifts throughout the day.

The “Louis Vuitton Fondation” was situated at the edge of a water garden created specifically for the building. It contains a collection of white blocks enveloped by twelve giant glass sails borne by wood beams. 13,400 square meters of glass are used in all. The sail surface of the museums was divided into an orthogonal geodesic pattern with square glass elements sized to roughly 3 x 1.5 m. The Ameri-can racing yacht “Susanne,” built in 1911, served as the guiding model for the sails. The 3,600 glass panes produced by Sunglass Industry are primarily rectangular and cylindrical. In certain spots that would not be covered by cylindrical panes, a special mechanical warm glass bending process was developed to create two different degrees of curvature along an edge.

The safety glass panes were created from a laminate of one 6 and one 8mm disc with coating and printing, as the sails needed to provide a certain degree of sun protection along with a flowing, semi-transparent external effect. The “Louis Vuitton Fondation” opened in October 2014 and today is consid-ered one of the top sights in Paris.