Exploring art through a private collection

Exploring art through a private collection

un nouveau lieu

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, through a unique programme of exhibitions and events.

"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." François Pinault

Cylindre
© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo Maxime Tetard 

 

Through the eyes of the collector 

The collection, an exceptional ensemble of over 10,000 works by almost 400 artists, features paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, audio works, installations, and performances. The artists collected by François Pinault come from all over the world and represent every age group. The collection encompasses all fields of creation and reveals the collector’s particular penchant for emerging trends.

This ensemble, dedicated to art from the 1960s to the present day, presents a vision of the art of our times, through the gaze of a passionate art lover, offering a subjective perspective that reflects its era. 

Cylindre
© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo Maxime Tetard 

An ongoing journey, an evolving collection

The collection is presented through a dynamic programme of temporary and regularly changing exhibitions : thematic displays based on works in the collection, exhibitions dedicated to artists whose works are included in the collection, as well as carte blanches, specific projects and commissions.

The Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection has ten exhibition galleries, including a Studio dedicated to video and audio works, as well as freer forms, outreach spaces and an Auditorium for conferences, meetings, screenings, concerts, and events.

 

Open to all audiences

Open to all audiences and every artistic discipline, featuring works that are already part of the history of contemporary art and those by emerging artists, the Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection welcomes connoisseurs and the curious-minded alike. It encourages them to open up to art and the history of contemporary art, regardless of the relationship they have with creation or their experience, whatever their level of expertise, and their understanding of the works.

 

Bourse de Commerce
© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo Maxime Tetard 

Contemporary design that enhances and transforms a monument

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 a symbolic Parisian building, part of the city’s historical heritage, and to open it up to the public.

The Bourse de Commerce was restored and transformed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando (TAAA – Tadao Ando Architect & Associates), NeM agency / Niney et Marca Architects, and the Pierre-Antoine Gatier agency. Work began in 2017 and was completed in February 2020.

The Bourse de Commerce building illustrates four centuries of architectural and technical feats. It associates the first free-standing column in Paris, erected in the 15th century for Catherine de’ Medicis’ palace, with the vestiges of a granary impressive for its circular 18th-century design, which was capped in 1812 with a spectacular metal and glass dome. The building was then modified in 1889 to become the “Paris Stock Exchange”.

Today, the monument has been injected with new life thanks to Tadao Ando’s contemporary architectural contribution. The Japanese architect creates the conditions for a dialogue between the architecture and its context, between heritage and contemporary creation, between past and present, and between the collection and the visitor. To date, the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection is the largest project designed by Tadao Ando in France.

Ando by Ando

“I returned to Paris for the first time after many years in 2015, and quite by chance I went to visit François Pinault. [...] He suddenly started sounding me out: ‘We’re working on a project at the moment. Would you be willing to take charge of the architectural design?’”

“He was referring to the Bourse de Commerce renovation project, of course. I was somewhat disconcerted by this completely unexpected commission, but I accepted it immediately [...]” Tadao Ando

“With the Louvre to the south-west and the Pompidou Centre to the east, the Bourse de Commerce is part of the newly-redesigned Les Halles district, and is truly located 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 [...] The circular design respecting the urban symmetry comprises a central Rotunda, and within it I inserted a nine-metre high concrete cylinder with a diameter of thirty metres. The Punta della Dogana project in Venice was born from a simple design: a geometrical shape surrounded by brick trees, while the spatial layout of the Bourse de Commerce consists of concentric circles and is designed to create an intense and more subtle dialogue between new and old.”

"The spatial layout of the Bourse de Commerce is designed to create an intense and more subtle dialogue between new and old." Tadao Ando

“The inside of the cylinder houses a main exhibition space and an auditorium in the basement. The outer facade of the cylinder encloses a corridor, an internal passageway between the concrete wall and the facade of the original building designed by Henri Blondel. This internal passageway rises to the upper floor of the cylinder, providing access to a circular walkway. The frescos around the dome that illuminate the entire space seem to be the culmination of this series of spaces [...] The structure of the old building is not only preserved, but it is alive, thanks to the creation within it of a new architecture that descends all the way down to the basement. It was a challenging construction project, but the team has created a remarkable structure.” 

Tadao Ando, architect and project manager
Excerpt from La Bourse de Commerce. Le musée de la Collection Pinault à Paris
Pinault Collection : Co-published by Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection and éditions Dilecta, Paris, 2021

From the circle to the cylinder

“The circle is part of Tadao Ando’s universe, along with other simple geometrical shapes, the triangle and the square, which are characteristic of [François Pinault’s] two Venetian museums. In his work, he constantly returns to the circle, with the firm intention of perfecting it and merging his signature with it [...] The height of the cylinder that stands at the heart of the Bourse de Commerce today was something we thought carefully about, questioned and modified on more than one occasion. After several work sessions—overseen by Tadao Ando, and his right-hand man, Kazuya Okano, along with Pierre-Antoine Gatier and his team, we finally decided on a height of nine metres to open up the transversal views and provide a complete panorama of the dome from the ground floor. The diameter of the cylinder was also modified in order to find the optimal distance—almost five metres—between the historic facade and the concrete wall. It is now called the “Passage” in reference to the architecture of Parisian passageways. Respecting the design of the Granito mosaic flooring, the passageway was widened to leave enough space to view the historic facade and to ensure the comfortable circulation of visitors; it is a moderato prelude to the entry into the central volume. Life-sized wooden prototypes were positioned in the central Rotunda to allow us to decide on the cylinder’s optimum height and diameter [...] we also tested some original lighting ideas that echoed the magnificent and changing natural light that floods the Rotunda.”

“The height of the cylinder that stands at the heart of the Bourse de Commerce today was the subject of careful consideration, questions and modifications.” Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca, architects and project managers

Bourse de Commerce
© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo Maxime Tetard 

“The double staircases that were shown on the inside of the cylinder in the original sketch, were shifted to the outside of the concrete wall that they wind around today, like the fine skin of a carefully peeled fruit, running all the way from the basement up to the second floor of the building. They open onto landings that meet the old circular structure, without touching it, and provide access to all the exhibition galleries. The winding shape that rises through the historic floors adds to the Piranesian aesthetics of the space that consists entirely of the curves and enclosed perspectives so dear to Tadao Ando. On the walkway that crowns the cylinder, the visitor seems to levitate in front of the Bourse de Commerce’s facades and ornamentation, and the stucco that masks the beginning of the cupola and the vast painted panorama. A stroll along this walkway beneath the Parisian sky, offers the visitor a completely different experience of the building. This feature was a way of erasing one’s reference points to magnify a complete, coherent and abstract internal space, marked by the sense of perfection symbolic of 18th-century French utopian architecture. [...] The essential features of the architecture—glass dome, open cylinder, the circular walkway, create a hypnotic circular scenography that distances the visitor from their established reference points, plunging them into a new dimension. A dimension where the visitor is present, at one with the work and themselves, and of course with the ‘here and now’.”

Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca, architects and project managers
Excerpt from La Bourse de Commerce. Le musée de la Collection Pinault à Paris
Pinault Collection : Co-published by Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection and éditions Dilecta, Paris, 2021