The old wheat exchange of Paris has been transformed by Tadao Ando into a new headquarters for the Pinault Foundation.
Located in the Les Halles neighborhood, between the Louvre and the Pompidou, the historic building was originally built in the period 1736-1766 for the grains business of Nicolas Le Camus de Mezières, and after a major fire in the 19th century, Henri Blondel began a reconstruction process that added a huge iron dome – with a diameter approaching 60 meters – and turned the building into the city’s stock exchange, the Bourse de Commerce. The new intervention is the work of a multidisciplinary team led by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, and the interior design studio of the Bouroullex brothers.
The building is home to the art collection – valued at 1,500 million euros and comprising over 10,000 works by almost 400 authors – of François Pinault, fashion magnate – founder of the luxury-goods multinational Kering – and owner of the auction house Christie’s, who previously hired the Japanese firm to renovate his foundation’s Venice branch, in Palazzo Grassi. The new Paris project respects the historical elements of the original construction and organizes the museum route by means of a large cylinder of reinforced concrete – 29 meters in diameter and 9.3 meters tall – below the circular structure of the dome.