• 17 Jan 2018

On March 10th 2018, a new kind of cultural and artistic hub will open its doors in Paris at the core of the Marais district. The Fondation Lafayette Anticipations and its President Guillaume Houzé, claim to have a singular mindset. “The building located at 9, Plâtre street is a machine, an Artists residence, a tailored production site, and a lively space all together” says the President. What can we expect from this new artistic center?

This picture represents the facade of the future Fondation Lafayette Anticipations in Paris.

9 Plâtre Street, Paris © Office for Metropolitan Architecture

A perfect architectural setting that is both functional and detachable

The architectural conception of the Fondation Lafayette Anticipations’ building has been entrusted to architect Rem Koolhaas. The idea is to create an experimental foundation. Behind the 19th century facade there is a structure that is based on a simple concept: mobility. As a result, almost all the different floors can be moved around to make every level entirely adjustable. In fact, there are 49 combinations possible. That will be Rem Koolhaas’s first building in Paris, along with his agency OMA. The 24000 square foot space includes an exhibition tower made of iron and glass of 9000 square foot. A restaurant and a shop will open at the ground floor while exhibition spaces and workshops will occupy the floors above. Indeed, the goal is to emphasize each Artwork using all the structure’s dimensions.

This pitcure of Architect Rem Koolhaas was taken by the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design from Moscow.

Architect Rem Koolhaas © Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design from Moscow, Russia

“A place of creation engaged in the global community”

As opposed to the Louis Vouitton Foundation or to the soon to be opened Pinault collection, the Fondation Lafayette Anticipations comes within the scope of a unique approach. Effectively, the idea is not to show the founders’ collection, or to showcase a brand, but rather providing a tool to foster creation transversally. It is “a convivial roof under which Artists and citizens will participate in the transformation of structures and ideas” explains Guillaume Houzé. For the past few years, Paris has been experiencing the multiplication of a variety of new spaces dedicated to artistic creation: the Centre 104, the Gaieté Lyrique etc. Nonetheless, it is rare that all conditions are reunited to stimulate experimentation. The Foundation aims at supporting Artists through an ecosystem that goes beyond the one provided by Artists residencies. The programming and the first artistic productions of the Foundation will be a relevant indicator of the concept’s efficiency.

An out of the box programming

As an opening to the programming of this new experimentation space, American Artist Lutz Bacher will present her project entitled “Un grand geste”. This 70 year-old woman Artist is not well known in France as opposed to the United States. In fact, since the 70s, Lutz Bacher has been combining recycled objects, ready-mades, to a space of thoughts focusing on various themes such as identity, genre, violence and intimacy. She also adds videos and sculptures to her installations. The Artist worked closely with great institutions, particularly with the Berkeley Art Museum. Therefore, it will be her first solo show in France. In that context, the Fondation Lafayette Anticipations shows a will to get off the beaten track. As a result, the Artworks presented are aligned with the building that hosts it. Such a conceptual vision needs to coincide with an important attention to communication to an audience that is more and more used to contemporary “Art Stars-only” exhibitions. The coherence between actions and intentions is essential on the long term. The audience’s reaction to the first exhibitions will be good indicator of the vision’s relevance.

This picture taken by Pexels represents a man sitting down on a bench in a museum's room.

© Pexels

Read our article about the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) new charged admission policy here.

Sources: Le Monde, Vogue, Archicree.