Planning permission withdrawn for Gehry’s Paris project

February 8, 2011

Frank Gehry ‘shocked and angry’ as a court order halts construction on his Louis Vuitton ‘Cloud’ building in Paris.

Construction on Frank Gehry’s Parisian project, the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, has ground to a halt following a court order.

Nicknamed the “Glass Cloud”, the project is intended to be a museum and gallery for the art collection of luxury goods company Louis Vuitton Moet Henessey (LVMH) along with the private collection of the company’s president, Bernard Arnault. Gehry was commissioned by Arnault to design the €100 million (AU$134 million) building in 2006, as part of Arnault’s vision to create an “exceptional venue for art and culture in Paris”. Construction on the Foundation was well under way, with the project due for completion in 2012.

French architect Jean Nouvel criticised the residents’ association group that had taken the matter to court. Nouvel, speaking to French newspaper _Le Journal du Dimanche_, said Gehry was “devastated, shocked and angry” at the court ruling. “The history of Paris is the history of its architecture,” Nouvel continued. “Within a few years this unique, ethereal structure will be declared a national monument.”

The controversial project is located near the Jardin d’Acclimatation, in the Bois de Boulogne park to the west of the centre of Paris. The 12,000sqm concrete and glass building is, according to residents, encroaching on park space. The court upheld the residents’ complaints that the 46m high building blocked access to one of the roads through the park.

The City of Paris is appealing the court ruling, with Mayor Bertrant Delanoe declaring the ruling “absurd”.


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