François Pinault, the founder of the luxury group Kering and the investment company Artémis, is known throughout Europe as an avid supporter of contemporary art. In 2017, Pinault announced that he had purchased Paris’s former stock exchange Bourse de Commerce, two blocks north of the Louvre Museum, to house at least a portion of his vast collection. “With the creation of this new museum,” Pinault wrote of the institution, now titled Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection, on its official website, “I am writing the next chapter of my cultural project, whose goal is to share my passion for contemporary art with as broad an audience as possible.”
With an estimated budget of $170 million, he commissioned famed Japanese architect Tadao Ando to renovate the 19th-century domed structure with the assistance of local talent including NeM Architects, architect Pierre-Antoine Gatier, and engineering firm Setec. Pinault additionally entrusted designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec with the interior and exterior furnishings. Three years later, the project is nearly ready for the public.
To renovate the Bourse de Commerce to its condition in 1889, the year in which all of its additions were first completed, the team used archival documents produced by architect Henri Blondel to analyze the original carpentry of the facades, update the marble mosaic tiles lining the interior of the vestibule and rotunda, replaced the glass canopy, and reinforced the iron framework on cast-iron columns. Restoring the paintings lining the interior of the dome proved to be an enormous challenge in itself, yet in the process, the team discovered graffiti and other embellishments from previous eras.
Ando’s greatest contribution to the space is a large, cylindrical concrete wall at the center of the multistory interior designed to increase wall space for exhibitions without visually competing with the hand-painted dome above. There will also be a restaurant added on the top floor of the building, as well as an auditorium with 300 seats, and a black-box theater for video installations and experimental performances. According to the museum’s website, the additional components of the building, which was once solely animated by the frenzy of the stock market, “will become the actors in a scenography intended to remove visitors from their daily lives, to allow them to focus on what’s before their eyes, on the here and now.” The institution is expected to have ten special exhibitions a year on average while also featuring work from Pinault’s private collection.
The opening date has been pushed more than once; it was first scheduled to be complete in 2019, then once again in June of this year. According to ARTnews, the institution’s opening has again been postponed due to the coronavirus, and is now scheduled to welcome visitors sometime in September. When complete, the Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection will be the third gallery Ando has completed for Pinault, following the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice, Italy.