Frank Gehry returns to Paris with a huge building and a huge exhibition. The Louis Vuitton Foundation Center – a cloud, says the author, or perhaps a kind of armadillo with enormous scales of glass – will be opening its doors a few months after the architect receives the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in Oviedo, Spain, and his Museum of Biodiversity in Panama opens to the public, and in the wake of a protracted and thorny construction process that, because of complaints of affluent residents in the neighborhood – the building stands right in the middle of the Bois de Boulogne –, led to the precautionary suspension of the works last year.
The inauguration of this extraordinary building sponsored by the magnates Bernard Arnault and Moët Hennesy – which we will be featuring in detail in the next issue of Arquitectura Viva – coincides with that of the major exhibition going on view at the Centre Pompidou starting October, just months after the same institution’s show on another architect, Bernard Tschumi. Curated by Frédéric Migayrou, the Gehry exhibition presents more than seventy models and close to 220 drawings, and takes stock of the entire career of the Californian architect born in Canada in 1929, a trajectory marked out by indisputable milestones like the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao or Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, but also by iconic excesses of questionable aesthetic and functional value. The exhibition can be visited in Paris until 26 January.