Bourse de Commerce, the museum housing the Pinault collection in Paris, opened its doors to the public on January 23, 2021. The project, which was first announced in 2017, saw the city’s former stock exchange transformed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando into a museum for businessman and art collector françois Pinault. Bourse de Commerce was originally set to open in September 2020, but the date was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have filled with light the entrance, the monumental stairs, and the restaurant. The project, commissioned by François Pinault, conceived in dialogue with Jean-Jacques Aillagon and Martin Bethenod, and manufactured by Flos Bespoke, expresses the power of a dialogue between architecture and design and history and contemporary times, developed with delicacy and respect thanks to unique technical know-how.
The design challenges: a dialogue with architecture and the creation of an atmosphere
The dialogue with architecture, both ancient and modern, and the creation of an atmosphere, its history, and its contents. These were the central nodes on which Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec lighting project was developed.
“We did not have to illuminate the exhibition spaces but passage areas,” explains the designers. “The stairs and the entrance hall, and the restaurant. This is why we focused on the design of light in its relationship with what it illuminates but also on the scenic presence of the sources when there is no artificial light: during the day when visitors flood the space”.
The entrance hall: a floating and vibrant light
The special response was a Horizontal Light for the entrance hall: an interlocking structure composed of five tubular elements of glass and aluminum measuring six meters each and parallelly positioned. The Horizontal Lights are installations suspended from the ceiling above the entrance in a groupage of five. Each glass cylinder was made in Murano with cast glass technology and had a simple but also “organic” shape. The result they wanted to achieve was precise but at the same time fluctuating and vibrant, just like the space that welcomes it. The final effect is very delicate but with a high aesthetic impact.
The staircase: a monumental but delicate atmosphere
For the attentive observer, the situation changes in the two stairways on the sides of the entrance, lit by five suspended Vertical Lights connected in a pentagon, and for the spectacular staircase C, formed by two spiral staircases that intersect, where Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec positioned three Vertical Lights arranged in a triangle. The monumentality is guaranteed by the light that marks the huge space between the ceiling and the ground floor, covering it all with its 17 meters in length.
The ability to move around the chandeliers allows visitors to enjoy their qualities from multiple points of view. “Observed from below, the installation is delicate, almost transparent, and ethereal. As you go up, its powerful physical presence is progressively affirmed”, they explain.
The restaurant: the precision of contemporary times
Even in the restaurant, an area of contemporary design that lacks confrontation with period architecture, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec kept the dialogue between opposites alive. “In the restaurant, we partly used the invention of vertical light but also set up the individual tables with simple, nice lamps, which rest on a wrought iron base and work with a small, very soft, rechargeable light source.”
Flos and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: innovation that is built over time
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have been researching suspended lighting structures with Flos for years. To manufacture the impressive luminaires that set up the Bourse de Commerce, the designers entrusted Flos Bespoke.
«Flos Bespoke was our partner in the development of these large luminaires. Furthermore, as in any project we develop together, thanks to their extraordinary technical skills, we were gradually able to solve the problems that this complex project presented us with and to put mutual inventiveness to good use”.
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Photographers: Tommaso Sartori, Luca Caizzi