A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for an Arts Resource Center designed by Frank Gehry at the LUMA Arles complex in southern France. The twisted metal form will be encased at ground level by a cylindrical glass structure, the result of a redesign process in which Gehry’s original aluminium towers were reduced in height and relocated to reclaim views towards the bell tower of a nearby church.
Contemporary art collector Maja Hoffmann has been spearheading the project. She explains: “The past four years have been an intense period of research and development directed at creating a new model for fostering, producing, staging and experiencing new work. The Core Team’s goal has been to create an environment that allows artists and thinkers to work in ways that are unencumbered by the traditional practices, dynamics, and structures of arts institutions.”
When it completes in 2018 the Arts Resource Center will encompass research and reference facilities, workshop and seminar rooms, and artist studios and presentation spaces. The glass box at ground level will provide a sheltered plaza totalling 9,000 sq m and a further lower level will incorporate parking, archive areas and programming spaces. The mission of the LUMA Arles is to provide opportunities for artists to experiment in the creation of new projects through interdisciplinary collaboration.
Alongside Gehry’s glittering sculpted form will be the redevelopment of five industrial buildings, headed by Selldorf Architects. This wider scheme will begin a staged opening with the completion of the first reinvented building - the 1,300 sq m Atelier des Forges - as part of the Rencontres d’Arles this summer. Bas Smets, working in coordination with the core team of Gehry and Selldorf, is designing a landscape to transform the 20-acre campus into a public park.