Foundation Louis Vuitton – The Parisian architectural wonder

Is the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris worth a visit?

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The Louis Vuitton Foundation is one of the latest and most exciting additions to Paris’s crowded museum scene. Nestled on the edge of the vast green spaces of Bois de Boulogne and housed in a striking glass structure, it’s a world apart from the traditional museums of central Paris.

Drawing on the collection of the Louis Vuitton group and from the personal works of its founder, the ultrawealthy Bernard Arnault, it arrived in the art world with a bang. Committed to promoting art, it’s a compelling distraction in a picturesque location. Hosting frequent expositions, it is also a magnet for contemporary art fans.

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What is the Louis Vuitton Foundation?

The brainchild of the fashion magnate Bernard Arnault, the Louis Vuitton Foundation reputedly cost upwards of €700 million. This labor of love is a legacy that will eventually be handed to the City of Paris. The idea behind the demanding project was to add something new and exciting to Paris’s sometimes staid museum scene, with the express intention of promoting art.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris

Avant-garde ideals shaped the museum’s design by the acclaimed Frank Gehry. Inspired by the Grand Palais and finished with 3,600 glass panels shaped like billowing sails, it rises arresting from verdant gardens. The Foundation promotes four artistic categories across 11 galleries: Contemplative, Expressionist, Music & Sound, and Pop.

Contemporary artists from around the world are on display. Unless you know your art, many names will be unfamiliar. This solidifies the Louis Vuitton Foundation’s ambition to offer something new and stimulating for art buffs. Among the collection are diverse works from contemporary artists, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and pop culture sculptor Jeff Koons. More than an art gallery, the Louis Vuitton Foundation also boasts an auditorium, a noted bookshop, and an upscale restaurant, Le Frank. Rolling programs of events bring art enthusiasts out from across Paris, adding a frisson of excitement to the unique permanent collection.

Tickets and entrance to the Louis Vuitton Fondation

The Adult entry to the Louis Vuitton Foundation costs €16 (under 18s – €5). Every EU citizens aged under 16 pay €10. Families can visit for €32.

Buy the tickets

Your Foundation Ticket gives you access to all exhibitions and the adjacent Jardin d’Acclimatation. Sadly, the Foundation Louis Vuitton is not included in Paris Museum Pass

Highlights of the Louis Vuitton Foundation

The Gehry-designed building is a stunning work, worth the trek out to the forest. It’s a modern masterpiece that deserves more eyes on it. Inside the Louis Vuitton Foundation is an impressive and eclectic collection. Temporary exhibitions are typically the headline attraction: 2023 started with an acclaimed exposition of Claude Monet and Joan Mitchell, showcasing their contrasting approach to depicting landscapes.

When you’ve finished wandering through the contemporary art collections, the gardens are a picturesque place to pause and reflect. The gardens lead to a more thrilling experience in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a leisure park filled with rickety old funfair rides.

Gourmets will want to check out Le Frank restaurant. Serving lunches and light evening dinners, the restaurant is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos. Seated beneath the striking Fish Lamps designed by Frank Gehry, the menu is one for gastronomes with a penchant for art.

Tips for visiting the Louis Vuitton Foundation

A few tips will help maximize your enjoyment of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

  • Confirm opening hours before heading out. They are very changeable, and Google is sometimes inaccurate. Always refer to the published schedule.
  • Download the interactive brochure as a backup to the unreliable app to navigate the occasionally bewildering collection.
  • For a sense of the collection, join free short guided tours that depart every 30 minutes.
  • Tickets must be purchased online and are issued with a strict admission time.
  • Catch the frequent shuttle bus to and from Place Charles de Gaulle (Arc de Triomphe) for €1.

Is the Louis Vuitton Foundation worth visiting?

Over a million people visit the Louis Vuitton Foundation annually, attracted to compelling and novel expositions and an intriguing collection of contemporary art.

Hosted in one of the most eye-catching buildings to arrive in Paris for a generation, there is enough to satisfy curious explorers and art fans. Afterward, the scenic park is an idyllic spot to relax and reflect upon the experience.

Facts about the Louis Vuitton Foundation

Controversies shrouded the early days of the Foundation Louis Vuitton. First were complaints from residents upset at the location in the green lung of Bois de Boulogne. Then followed serious allegations about tax evasion and misusing government funds. Despite the complications, the dream of France’s richest person was realized. At the time, costs were reportedly close to the projected €100 million. It later emerged that costs had snowballed to €790 million.

When you see the gleaming museum that 400 designers worked on, it’s easy to see why it was so expensive. The design features nearly 3,600 individually shaped glass panels. Completed in 2012, the distinctive structure is another Frank Gehry modern architectural marvel. There is a silver lining for government auditors: the Foundation and its collections will become state property after 55 years. Something for the grandchildren to benefit from!

What to do after visiting the Louis Vuitton Foundation?

Off the beaten path, the Louis Vuitton Foundation might be viewed as an exceptional detour. However, there are a handful of enticing activities in the area.

  • The closest is the peculiar delights of a timeless funfair in the neighboring Jardin d’acclimatation. It’s a little dated, but that adds to the charm.
  • Alternatively, slip your hiking shoes on for a brisk stroll around the open spaces of Bois de Boulogne, a former royal hunting park. Decent restaurants are dotted in and around the park, including the charmingly old-fashioned lakeside venue, Le Chalet des Iles.
  • Shuttle bus passengers alight near the Arc de Triomphe. A trip to savor the views from the top, followed by a stroll down the lively Champs Élysée, instantly snaps you back from the calm spaces of Bois de Boulogne.

When can you visit Louis Vuitton Foundation?

Hours are variable for the Louis Vuitton Foundation. Typically, between 11am and 7pm and closed on Tuesdays, it pays to check online as opening and closing times are inconsistent.

What is the easiest way to get to the Louis Vuitton Foundation?

Take the shuttle bus from Place Charles de Gaulle near the Arc de Triomphe. €1 per journey. Alternatively, it’s a 15-minute walk from the nearest Métro station, Les Sablons (line 1.)

Is the Louis Vuitton Foundation all about fashion?

No. Although operated by the luxury goods group LVMH, the collections focus on promoting diverse art forms, especially from contemporary artists. Four themes — Contemplative, Expressionist, Music & Sound, and Pop — complement a changing program of temporary expositions.

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I am an absolute travel enthusiast with a great love for the USA, Spain and Italy. And England. And France. You can find lots of travel inspiration from me regularly on our YouTube-channel .

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