<div class="col m-10">
<span class="title">Transforming the building</span><br>
<span class="title">into a Museum</span>
<div class="col m-4 auteur pull-right noclick">
<b>Lucie Niney & Thibault Marca, <br>NeM Architectes</b><br>
<span class="alinea"></span>The structuring element of the plans to adapt the Bourse de Commerce into a museum is conceived as an echo to the building’s fundamental organizing principle: its circularity. Tadao Ando’s intervention within the building will dialogue with its carefully restored historic elements. We see this decision as the natural consequence of the approach Ando has consistently adopted when working within existing buildings. Here, we must contend with the history of the building and that of Paris, capital of the nineteenth century.
<span class="alinea"></span>A concrete cylinder, its walls pierced with four identical openings and surmounted by an oculus that allows natural light to filter in, will be inserted into the building’s core. This space was once used to store wheat, then was the active center of the stock market, opening directly onto the recently built Paris streets that converged there; now, it will be isolated, becoming the building’s unified, abstract, and fixed core, and an ideal space in which to experience art. The main components of the architecture (its circular form, its dome, the controlled presence of light) 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.
<span class="alinea"></span>The goal of the conversion of the Bourse de Commerce into a museum is to create the ideal conditions for the visitor to experience art. It will be flexible and adaptable, to best accommodate the range of different media used by contemporary artists today. Our intervention in the building relies on emphasizing its most striking attributes and the remarkable features of the site while writing a new chapter in its history. The concrete and symbolic nods to its past, such as the Medici column, the double-spiral staircases, and its rotunda, emphasize the role of the past as the foundation of contemporary creation.
<span class="alinea"></span>Because of the circularity of the site, the ways of exploring the building are virtually inexhaustible. It serves as a metaphor for the way in which history can be reinterpreted and rediscovered according to new logics. Ando has often, throughout his career, relied on circularity as a structuring principle; it recurs in his work, almost as his personal signature.
<span class="alinea"></span>These unique conditions combine to make this space the site of an encounter between the rich past, embodied by this centuries-old building, and the modern-day desire to present a unique collection to the public, all in the hands of the renowned Tadao Ando.
<span class="alinea"></span>Like Ando, Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières, the building’s original architect, believed in the suggestive power of forms on human emotions. His treatise <i>The Genius of Architecture; or, the Analogy of that Art with our Sensations</i> opened with the provocative formula, “It is not enough to please the eyes, you must touch the soul.” In 1977, Ando similarly described architecture as “a fundamentally emotive space.”
<span class="alinea"></span>The volumes of the central rotunda, bathed in the changing light, will be the silent witnesses to a perpetual movement of exchange and originality.