Tadao Ando's architectural intervention at Paris' historic Bourse de Commerce is a powerful juxtaposition to the building's classic design.
By Rachel Gallaher
As seen in Issue 56
Architect Tadao Ando's addition to the Bourse de Commerce, which is being transformed into an art museum by businessman François Pinault. Image: Mark Damage.
Five years ago, the mayor of Paris gave French billionaire and businessman François Pinault a 50-year lease on the historic Bourse de Commerce building in the heart of the city. An avid art lover and collector, Pinault put forth a plan to transform the former Chamber of Commerce and Industry building into an exhibition space for contemporary art, including pieces from his private collection. To create the museum without impacting the edifice, Pinault tapped Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who is known for using empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity. The resulting architectural intervention—a round, 30-foot-tall concrete chamber nested into the building’s domed rotunda—creates a visual dialogue between old and new that is as emotionally arresting as any work of modern art.