The Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection is the latest museum in the network of sites and initiatives developed by François Pinault since 2006. It offers a perspective on the contemporary art collection he has amassed over the past forty years. In Venice, two historical buildings, the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, were transformed into museums to present François Pinault’s Collection. Similarly, he chose to preserve and transform this symbolic Parisian building, part of the city’s historical heritage. The renovation works were led by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates together with the agency NeM /Niney & Marca Architects, and the agency Pierre-Antoine Gatier, chief architect for French National Heritage.
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.
The collection consists of over 10,000 works by almost 400 artists from all over the world and features paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, audio works, installations, and performances. This ensemble, dedicated to art from the 1960s to the present day, presents a vision, through the gaze of an enthusiastic art lover, offering a subjective perspective that reﬂects its era.
The Bourse de Commerce building illustrates four centuries of architectural and technical feats. It associates with the ﬁrst free-standing column in Paris, erected in the 15th century for Catherine de’ Medicis’ palace.
It was originally a circular wheat exchange building, constructed in 1763–67, with an open-air interior court that was later capped by a wooden dome. Its circular 18th-century design was capped in 1812 with a spectacular metal and glass dome. In a major reconstruction in 1888–89 much of the structure was replaced, although the layout stayed the same and the dome was kept albeit adding glass and a mounted canvas. The building then became the Paris Stock Exchange.
With Tadao Ando’s contemporary 2021 architectural contribution, the monument has been injected with new life. It is the largest project designed by Tadao Ando in France.
With the Louvre to the southwest and the Pompidou Centre to the east, the Bourse de Commerce is part of the newly-redesigned Les Halles district and is truly found in the heart of Paris. My job was to transform this building into a contemporary art museum, without touching the structure that is classiﬁed as a historical monument. 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.
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