Opening in January, the Bourse de Commerce in Paris is the latest home for François Pinault to show works from his phenomenal art collection. This is the third time the French businessman has chosen Japanese architect Tadao Ando to convert a historical building into a contemporary museum for his collection (following the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana, both in Venice). We spoke with Pinault and Ando about this hotly-anticipated project and their 20-year relationship.
In 2001, your competition for a [never built] museum on the Île Seguin attracted many prestigious architects. Why did you choose Tadao Ando?
FP I wanted a museum that would transcend fashion and be timeless. Tadao Ando is an exceptional architect who seeks to trace a new path by combining Japan’s rich traditions with the evolution of modernism in the West, creating harmony between the individual and his environment. He knows how to subtly create a dialogue between shape and time, between a building and its era.
Mr Ando, you have designed several museums for foreign clients. What has been so unique about working with François Pinault?
TA He fights with all his strength and does not give up without realising his dreams. I’ve always been impressed by his fearless thinking ever since we first worked together. An architect cannot make a building alone. It is the client’s will and persistence that moves a project forward. Just as the Medici family served as benefactors of artists such as Michelangelo during the Renaissance, he has encouraged me through the work we endeavoured to create together.
Why is Ando an ideal architect for keeping traces of history in a contemporary redesign?
FP His architecture knows how to confront the past while expressing its own time. In all of the projects we have done together, he has carefully highlighted the historic layers of each place and, at the same time, created strong spaces that belong to our time and embrace the future.
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Tadao Ando and François Pinault
K1 arts complex, by Teo Yang and Ourstudio, for Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Elephant World, Thailand, by Bangkok Project Studio
MOKA Garden, South Korea, by Jaime Hayon
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