The Bourse de Commerce is the recently opened art museum in Paris, which is already a success! For more than 20 years, the French billionaire François Pinault has imagined starting an art museum to display his renowned contemporary art collection in Paris. The dream has finally come true, as on May 22 the museum started welcoming visitors, almost a year after it was originally programmed to open last June.
Meticulously renovated by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, the museum hosts the collection of luxury magnate François Pinault. It follows new guidelines that museums and cultural spaces across France ensure, so it can now reopen from May 19.
The original plan was to build a massive concrete and glass structure on an abandoned island in the River Seine three miles from the Eiffel Tower. Now, Pinault achieves his original goal and opens a private museum in a former 18th-century grain exchange near Les Halles in central Paris, with a mission to turn it into a central art destination for France. The French billionaire already has two impressive museums housing his collection in Venice, inaugurated in 2006, and Punta della Dogana, opened in 2009.
The opening of the Bourse de Commerce, a new site in the heart of Paris to display my collection, marks a new phase in the execution of my cultural project, which is to share my passion for contemporary art with the widest possible audience.François Pinault
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In a brilliant blend between the past and present, the building was masterfully renovated by Japanese Pritzer award-winning architect Tadao Ando, who was behind the renovation and rehabilitation of the Venice art museums. Ando has transformed the monument, which was first constructed as the Hôtel de Soissons for Catherine de’ Medici in the 16th century, adding a cylindrical, three-tiered structure to the rotunda to create 73,200 square feet of modular gallery space.
The spatial layout of the Bourse de Commerce is designed to create an intense and more subtle dialogue between new and old.Tadao Ando
The art museum also features a 284-seat auditorium and a top-floor restaurant. The 30-foot-tall cylinder of concrete, a signature material for Ando, curves to mirror the building’s existing structure and create a peaceful yet dramatic central area for visitors to congregate. It creates a large central display area without destroying the fabric of the original heritage-listed structure.
The art collection, an exceptional gathering of over 10,000 works by 400 artists, includes paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, audio works, installations, and performances. François Pinault’s art museum represents every age group and artists from all over the world. The collection incorporates all fields of creation and reveals the collector’s particular penchant for emerging trends.