PINAULT
COLLECTION
numéro 09
October 2017
March 2018
 
<div style="text-align: right;"> <b>Jean-Jacques<br>Aillagon</b> </div> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <div> <span class="alinea"></span>The notion of adapting the Bourse de Commerce into a museum of fine arts was first mentioned in 1976, when Dominique Bozo, founding director of the future Musée National Picasso, suggested to Michel Guy, Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs, that the Bourse de Commerce might eventually be a possible location for the new institution. This proposal came while the nearby Halles, designed by Victor Baltard, had been shockingly destroyed. The Hôtel Salé was ultimately chosen to house the Picasso museum. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Ten years later, a new museum opened in the ancient Gare d’Orsay, rehabilitated for this purpose by Gae Aulenti. A few months prior, an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou entitled “Créer dans le créé” (Building in the Built Environment), curated by Philippe Robert, Isabelle Maheu, and the French chapter of ICOMOS, explored the question of adapting existing buildings to new functions, most often cultural ones. The exhibition subtly suggested different ways of making modern adaptations to historic sites, distinguishing between two approaches: one limited to a faithful reconstruction of the original site; and one that celebrated with boldness and flair the original spirit of the place while updating its program. This celebration could, according to the architect’s individual genius and the specific demands of the site, either complement the original forms or seek to deliberately contrast with them. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Thirty years later, this reflection is still relevant to the Bourse de Commerce / Collection Pinault—Paris’s project. With François Pinault’s support, the architectural team carefully analyzed this exceptional space, whose landmarked elements will be carefully and scrupulously restored to their original condition, relying on the combined skills of all team members and the expert guidance of the advisory board. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>The team of architects, in deciding how to introduce new architectural elements to this historic building, embraced the formal logic that proceeds from its circular shape (inspired as well by the first-century Pantheon in Rome, a model much admired by Ando). The Bourse de Commerce is an assemblage of circles, from its external periphery to its internal courtyard, and including its dome. It will soon welcome one more circle: an internal drum that will begin underground and rise to the first floor of the building, supporting a staircase that will create a new experience of the site and of the unique ornamentation created by Blondel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>This is undoubtedly the start of a new chapter in the history of this site—so often adapted, over the centuries, to new purposes. This new era will be marked by the reverence due to the masterpieces of the past, but also, by the freedom that the new brings to the old, constantly updating the past and enriching our heritage. </div>
 

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Pinault Collection Magazine - Issue #09

 

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