The structuring element of the plans to adapt the Bourse de Commerce
into a museum is conceived as an echo of the building’s fundamental
organising principle: its circularity. Tadao Ando’s intervention within the
building will create a dialogue with its carefully restored historic elements.
When the building was a corn exchange in the 18th century (Halle aux
blé), its centre was used to store wheat. It then became the active centre
of the stock market, directly open on to the newly built 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.
A concrete cylinder, its walls pierced with four identical openings and
surmounted by the original oculus that allows natural light to filter in, will
be inserted into the building’s core. The intervention allows greater access
to, even celebrates, the light from the oculus. 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.
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.
‘Charged with the task of giving the historic customs house a new life as
an art museum, I proposed to introduce architectural elements as devices
for inducing dialogue between the old and new,’ Ando explains. ‘ This
concept is epitomised by the central court, the main gallery space with a
square plan, which I embedded at the heart of the building. The Bourse
de Commerce is also an exquisite historic building. By nesting new spaces
within it, while respecting the memories of the city engraved in its walls, I
will transform the building’s entire interior into a space for contemporary
Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca of NeM Architectes present the concept for the Bourse de Commerce, a new museum in Paris
which from 2019 will house French billionaire Francois Pinault’s contemporary art collection. The 18th-century landmark’s conversion
includes a light-filled, cylindrical central core designed by Tadao Ando