In keeping with tradition in the choice of architecture to house the well-known French magnate’s collections, no random work of architecture was chosen as their Parisian home; it is the Bourse de Commerce, restored by Tadao Ando with the agency NeM/Niney & Marca Architects, which will house the art foundation.
In the heart of the 1st arrondissement, between the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre, stands the old building which, with its many layers, is a document of the economic, architectural, industrial and social history of the French capital. The Corn Market designed in 1763 by Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières as an avant garde ring-shaped project, which was later modified by some of the most famous French architects of the 19th and 20th centuries. The latest redefinition of the space of the Bourse is the work of the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who has already designed and realised the Venetian spaces for the Pinault’s collections: Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana.
Ando’s project is a ring within the ring: a concrete cylinder emphasises the spatial nature of the hall that houses the collection, whose pure essentiality enters into a dialogue with the light coming from the beautiful ultra-light cupola first designed by François-Joseph Bélanger and later modified by Henri Blondel. At the upper edge of the cylinder, Ando has designed a birds-eye-view view of the space of the hall that allows the works of art and architecture to be observed from different and unusual perspectives.
There is also a project within the project in the form of the lighting study that the brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec designed for Flos Bespoke in the spaces of the Pinault Foundation. An interesting light installation – designed to be switched off for long periods of time during daylight hours – accompanies visitors through the three key areas of the museum: the entrance hall, the stairwells and the restaurant.