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Japanese architect Tadao Ando plans to convert Paris' Bourse de Commerce into a contemporary art museum

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Stock Take
Stock Take

Renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, known for his creative use of natural light and unadorned architectural walls, has revealed his plans to convert Paris’ Bourse de Commerce building – the city’s historic stock exchange – into a museum that will host one of the world’s largest contemporary art collections.

Commissioned by French luxury goods tycoon François Pinault – once described as the most powerful man in the modern art world – Ando has designed a central cylinder that will be inserted into the existing structure, forming a new exhibition space. The remainder of the building, including the dome, which is listed as a historical monument, will be completely restored and modified. Pinault previously tasked Ando with restoring Venice’s Punta Della Dogana, and will use the new space to host his personal collection of contemporary artworks, known as the Pinault Collection.

‘Charged with the task of giving the historic customs house a new life as an art museum, I proposed to introduce architectural elements as devices for inducing dialogue between the old and new,’ said Ando. ‘This concept is epitomised by the central court, the main gallery space with a square plan, which I embedded at the heart of the building.’

‘The Bourse de Commerce is also an exquisite historic building. By nesting new spaces within it, while respecting the memories of the city engraved in its walls, I will transform the building’s entire interior into a space for contemporary art.’ – Tadao Ando

The Pritzker Prize laureate will arrange the 3 000 square metres of gallery space over three floors, with curving walkways skirting the edge of the central exhibition hall, with French architect Pierre-Antoine Gatier overseeing the conservation works on the building, and Nem Architectes collaborating with Ando on the design and build. ‘Tadao Ando devised a pioneering design that carefully considers the architectural and historic characteristics of the building, respecting its past while accommodating the needs of today,’ concludes Pinault.

Work is expected to complete in late 2018 in time for its opening in 2019.

Photography © Tadao Ando. Courtesy of Collection Pinault, Paris