After years of renovation works the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection finally opens its doors to Parisian art lovers and – for now, not-so-many – tourists. It is a new art venue you should not miss if you are interested in contemporary art but also if you love architecture. The Japanese architect Tadao Ando did an incredible job in creating modern, breathing, geometrical spaces inside the old Bourse de Commerce, one of the most emblematic building in Paris, including the free-standing column erected for Catherine de Medicis, a circular granary dating back to the 18th century and a metal and glass dome designed in 1812. Situated right in the centre of Paris, in Les Halles – that special area that Zola nicknamed the “belly” of Paris – the museum is actually creating an unprecedented connection between the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou, each representing the past and the present in art, architecture, culture… in one word: in life.
In the Excerpt from La Bourse de Commerce. Le musée de la Collection Pinault à Paris published on the official website you can read Tadao Ando’s words:
“I was to revive the building, honouring the memory of the city inscribed in its walls, and slot another structure into its interior, inspired by the concept of Russian dolls. The idea was to design a lively space that would foster a dynamic dialogue between the new and the old, which is what a site dedicated to contemporary art should be. The architecture was to serve as the link between the threads of time, the past, present and future, as was the case in [François Pinault’s] Venice projects […] The circular design respecting the urban symmetry comprises a central Rotunda, and within it I inserted a nine-metre high concrete cylinder with a diameter of thirty metres […] the spatial layout of the Bourse de Commerce consists of concentric circles and is designed to create an intense and more subtle dialogue between new and old”.
If this is not enough to give you a good reason to visit the Bourse de Commerce, consider that the art collection is truly outstanding and it is presented in a very dynamic way with regularly changing exhibitions. It means that every visit will be a surprise and an opportunity to discover different contemporary artists and reflect on different political, social, artistic subject matters. A little plus? If you are not going there with a guide you can join free flash tours and conversations given by the museum team.
Practical information: remember to book your ticket in advance on the official website and check out events, guided tours and opening time… enjoy the visit!