Parisian campaigners win court order to stop Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation
An architect’s worst nightmare came true for the Frank Gehry this week, as local residents’ group Coordination de Sauvegarde du Bois de Boulogne in Paris won a court order to stop work on Gehry’s £100m Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. In an emotive outburst the architect branded the offending campaigners ‘philistines’, stating through fellow architect Jean Nouvel that he was 'outraged by the selfishness, lack of civic pride and ignorance' of the group.
The cultural centre (dubbed ‘The Cloud’) is a 12,000 sq m building designed for France’s richest man – owner of the world’s largest luxury goods group, LVMH – Bernard Arnaud, who commissioned Gehry to design a home for his extensive collection of contemporary art. After many complaints from the residents’ group, the court found that the building was being constructed too close to a public right of way and called a halt to the proceedings. Francios Douady, President of Coordination de Sauvegarde du Bois de Boulogne told Le Journal du Dimanche: “They want to impose on us a 12,000 sq m building 46m high – 20m above the trees. We lack greenery in Paris, not museums. I hope this project is razed to the ground.” Should the city of Paris lose its appeal against the decision, this is exactly what will happen.
The sheer complex was originally toted by Gehry as: “a cloud of glass – magical, ephemeral, all transparent. I wanted to create something that every time you approach, it shows a different character depending on the light and the time of day.” LVMH has argued that the new museum and gallery will replace a disused 1950s bowling alley and increase green space, however campaigners continue to fight against the ‘tide of concrete’. It is thought Arnaud’s creation has been designed to compete with the existing art gallery of his main business rival, Francois Pinault in Venice.