Paris: Fondation Louis Vuitton

When I asked one of my Paris-based friends what I should do in the city, the first thing she said was go to the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

So after my morning visiting the Musée de l’Orangerie and over-indulging at Angelina, I hopped on the Metro to the Bois de Boulogne on the Western edge of the French capital.

Nestled next to the Jardin d’Acclimation, the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton is a sight to behold.

For the art gallery and cultural centre resembles an enormous ship made of glass and concrete, boasting 12 glass sails.

The striking Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Commissioned by the French fashion billionaire Bernard Arnault, the Fondation Louis Vuitton opened to the public in October 2014.

A spectacular mix of glass, wood, metal and concrete, the museum is a joy to behold and many of the art works housed in the gallery are built into the museum’s structure.

Ellsworth Kelly's Spectrum VIII in the auditorium of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris

Ellsworth Kelly’s striking multicoloured Spectrum VIII (above) was specially created for the centre’s large auditorium (above).

While Olafur Eliasson’s dazzling water and light display in the ground-floor grotto centres around 43 columns and a pool of water. It’s a visual spectacle and I had great fun taking lots of photos of it.

The roof terrace at the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum and cultural centre in Paris

The multi-level roof terrace (above), meanwhile, boasts superb views over Paris and the Bois de Boulogne (below), and from one vantage point, I could just make out the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

View of the Jardin d'Acclimation from the roof terrace at the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum and cultural centre in Paris

But much like Gehry’s vaunted Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, the building is by far the most impressive work of art.

Despite the many delights of the building, I can’t say I was quite as bowled over by the art on display. Some pieces, such as Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room, were incredible, but others were pretentious beyond belief and disappointing.

Red and white spotted fabric shapes in Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room at the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum and cultural centre in Paris

My favourite work of art, the Infinity Mirror Room, was a weird and wonderful installation inside a small room.

The walls and ceiling were covered in mirrors, while the floor – bar a small path – was filled with whimsical red and white spotted fabric shapes (above).

The queue to go inside the room was long (they only let four people in at a time), but it was worth the wait as it was so bizarre, playful and unexpected, I couldn’t help but smile as I took it in.

Although I wasn’t awed by all the art the museum had to offer, I nevertheless enjoyed my visit and was glad I’d gone.

The building is an extraordinary accomplishment and a wonderful place to explore, and worth visiting for that alone.

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