Cleaning work start
Call for bids
Bouygues Construction is selected
Planning permission granted
Start of work
Restoration of canvas paintings starts
Concrete cylinder completed
Glass dome restoration completed
Restoration of the cupola and the roof completed
Major structural work completed
Restoration of the Medici column completed
Work of the surroundings starts
Restoration and repurposing work completed
Museographic and scenographic work
The Japanese architect Tadao Ando was selected by François Pinault to mastermind the conversion of the Bourse de Commerce into a museum.
Founded by Tadao Ando in 1969 in Osaka, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates (TAAA) is one of the most renowned architecture firms working today. Relying on its expertise and flexible organization, TAAA has designed buildings of all natures and scales, always combining functionality with majestic architectural gestures. It has created many remarkable buildings over the course of the last twenty-five years, including for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and The Pulitzer Arts Foundation in the United States, the Langen Foundation in Germany, Benesse House in Japan, and the Benetton Factory in Treviso, Italy.
Winner of the Praemium Imperiale Award in Japan in 1996, Tadao Ando has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, such as the Pritzker Architecture Prize and gold medals from the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Académie Française, the American Institute of Architects, and the International Union of Architects.
Since 2000, Ando has collaborated with François Pinault on three projects in Venice: the renovation and preservation of Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana and the construction of the Teatrino.
NeM / Niney et Marca Architectes was founded in 2008 by Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca, both graduates of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette.
In their commissioned work, Niney and Marca seek to achieve a formal minimalism, avoiding any superfluous technical flourishes. The firm begins by analysing the essence of each project, in order to conceive and create it most appropriately.
Niney and Marca have collaborated with several cultural institutions, in particular by participating in the design of exhibitions. NeM was selected to design the home of the Pinault artist-residency program in Lens, opened in 2015. The firm is currently working on restructuring studio housing at the Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris. In 2016, Niney and Marca were co-curators of the French pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial, along with the collective AJAP14 and OBRAS-Frédéric Bonnet.
Among their ongoing projects, the architects work currently on an African arts center in Allex (Drôme, France) and will soon deliver the new French headquarters of the World Wide Fund (WWF) NGO, in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, near Paris.
PAG was founded in 1991 by Pierre-Antoine Gatier, architect in chief of French National Heritage since 1990. Gatier holds degrees in museology from the école du Louvre (1983) and the école de Chaillot (1987). He is currently head architect for the fifth arrondissement in Paris, the Domaine de Chantilly, the Opéra Comique, and several properties owned by the French state in Rome.
For more than twenty years, Gatier has collaborated with art historians and architects specializing in the renovation of historical landmarks, focusing on updating them for current use. One of the core principles of his methodology relies on the analysis of the materials used in architectural buildings of the past, constantly experimenting and evolving new building methods.
Gatier also shares his knowledge on the renovation of historical monuments in the courses he teaches at the école de Chaillot on the history and the restoration of reinforced concrete and metal, and at the Paris-Belleville school of architecture, as part of a graduate-degree program specializing in twentieth-century heritage. He has lectured internationally on restoration techniques.
The engineers of the independent group Setec have conceived and constructed some of the most ambitious international engineering projects of the past fifty years, including the Millau Viaduct, one of the highest bridge in the world, the tallest towers at La Défense in Paris, the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, the Riyadh subway system, and many more.
The firm was awarded the Century’s Best Civil Engineering Project Award from the International Federation of Consulting Engineers for its work on the construction of the Channel Tunnel. Setec has collaborated on the design of several important high-tech museum projects, such as the Cour Napoléon of the Louvre by I. M. Pei, the Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum by Jean Nouvel, the entrance to the Musée d’Orsay by Adeline Rispal, Tadao Ando’s project for the Fondation d’Art Contemporain on the Île Seguin, Albert Kahn museum and gardens by Kengo Kuma in Boulogne and the Parc des Ateliers in Arles by Frank Gehry, and the Musée de l’Homme by Olivier Brochet and Emmanuel Nebout. Setec also participated in the renovation of the Château de Versailles with Frédéric Dider and the Château de Fontainebleau with Patrick Ponsot, and with Mark Feldman of Mosproekt 2, on the adaption of Catherine the Great’s Tsaritsyno Palace into a museum.
The structuring element of the plans to adapt the Bourse de Commerce into a museum is conceived as an echo to the building’s fundamental organizing principle: its circularity. Tadao Ando’s intervention within the building dialogues with its carefully restored historic elements. 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, capital of the nineteenth century.
A concrete cylinder, its walls pierced with four identical openings and surmounted by an oculus that allows natural light to filter in, was inserted into the building’s core. The centre of the building was once used to store wheat, then was the active centre of the stock market, directly open onto the recently built Paris streets that converged there; now, it is isolated, becoming the building’s unified, abstract, and fixed core, and an ideal space in which to experience art. The main components of the architecture (its circular form, its dome, the controlled presence of light) 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.
The goal of the conversion of the Bourse de Commerce into a museum is to create the ideal conditions for the visitor to experience art. It is flexible and adaptable, to best accommodate the range of different media used by contemporary artists today. Our intervention in the building relies on emphasizing its most striking attributes and the remarkable features of the site while writing a new chapter in its history. The concrete and symbolic nods to its past, such as the Medici column, the double-spiral staircases, or its rotunda, emphasize the role of the past as the foundation of contemporary creation.
Because of the circularity of the site, the ways of exploring the building are virtually inexhaustible. It serves as a metaphor for the way in which history can be reinterpreted and rediscovered according to new logics. Ando has often, throughout his career, relied on circularity as a structuring principle; it recurs in his work, almost as his personal signature.
These unique conditions combine to make this space the site of an encounter between the rich past, embodied by this centuries-old building, and the modern-day desire to present a unique collection to the public, all in the hands of the renowned Tadao Ando.
Like Ando, Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières, the building’s original architect, believed in the suggestive power of forms on human emotions. His treatise The Genius of Architecture; or, the Analogy of that Art with our Sensations opened with the provocative formula, “It is not enough to please the eyes, you must touch the soul.” In 1977, Ando similarly described architecture as “a fundamentally emotive space.”
The volumes of the central rotunda, bathed in the changing light, are the silent witnesses to a perpetual movement of exchange and originality.
In approaching the renovation of the Bourse de Commerce, the architects’ common aim is to infuse the different historic strata of the building with a new life, by adding, at the core of the building, a concrete
cylinder that disrupts the existing volumes of the space and creates a new means of circulating through the building.
This cylinder, linking two walls and two eras, creates a path through the ground floor that becomes a passageway to the floors above, leading the visitor in a centrifugal movement to each of the spaces open to the public. A walkway, curled around this central cylinder along the building’s internal façade, offers new vantage points from which to view this historic building. The path also leads to the new auditorium, located underground beneath the foundations of the cylinder. Its stage is aligned with this circle, in a subtle reminder of the centrality that forms the core of the building.
The newly created exhibition spaces are organized around the central core of the building, in a strategy aimed at increasing the number of ways in which the building can be visited. Visitors will enter into a vast reception area located on the ground floor, then continue to a double-height exhibition room. On the first floor, a small exhibition space was inserted between the ancient walls. As they continue up the walkway, visitors will be able to access the second floor from two points. On the third floor, the visit ends on a stunning panorama— of the city to one side, and of the interior of the building, its skylight, and frescos on the other.
Visitors can then choose between retracing their steps back to the lobby or using the double-spiral staircase, a vestige of the building’s past as the former Halle au Blé, to return directly to the ground floor.
Lucie Niney et Thibault Marca, NeM Architectes
The Bourse de Commerce has chosen Bouygues Construction as its partner for the renovation and adaptation of the building into a museum, beginning in summer 2017, working with its subsidiaries, Bouygues Bâtiment Île-de-France – Rénovation Privée and Bouygues Energies & Services.
Founded in 1952 by Francis Bouygues, the firm has undertaken and continues to manage projects in construction, infrastructure, and industry in close to eighty countries. A leader in sustainable development, Bouygues Construction is committed to remaining innovative and bold. Its clients reap the benefit of its originality and productivity, while its 50,100 collaborators enjoy exceptional working conditions.
Its subsidiary Bouygues Bâtiments Île-de-France – Rénovation Privée has established itself as the leader in renovations, working with businesses, hotels, and private residences. Bouygues Energie & Services is a leader in the fields of energy, services, and digital technology.
Bouygues has collaborated on several important cultural institutions, including the Hotel de la Marine, the Salle Pleyel, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and most recently the Cité Musicale on the Île Seguin.
François Pinault entrusted the design of the Bourse de Commerce’s interior and exterior furnistings to the Breton designers Ronan and Erwan (born in Quimper in 1971 and 1976, respectively) Bouroullec. In this conversation, the brothers look back at how their respective paths have differed, met, and complement one another, leading to their very first museum projet in Paris.
How and when did you start working together?
Ronan Bouroullec: Luckily, my very ﬁrst exhibition, when I was only eighteen, was a success, and I was able to start working as soon as I’d ﬁnished my studies. There is a ﬁve-year age gap between Erwan and I, which is nothing today, but at the time it seemed bigger. He had just arrived and was studying at the Beaux-Arts in Cergy. One day— I must have been twenty-four years old— he came to give me a hand with a move, and he never left.
Erwan Bouroullec: When I came to work with Ronan, I discovered the pleasure of working as part of a team: with my brother on the one hand, and in collaboration with manufacturers. In retrospect, I don’t think I was cut out for the solitude of the artist’s studio.
RB: And now we’re like an old couple! Our bulimic curiosity brings us closer together and is illustrated in the variety of our projects: some of our designs are produced in bulk and sold all over the world, while we also design one-of-a-kind, tailor-made projects, calling on very sophisticated craftsmanship.
How would you describe your job?
RB: I have a hard time deﬁning exactly what a designer does, given that everything that doesn’t grow naturally on this earth is a product of design.
EB: Our job is to have ideas, which are then reproduced and enter into people’s lives and become anchored in reality. It is very pleasant to place the individual, and therefore practicality and functionality, at the heart of our design process. I think of life as a forest: from a fallen tree, we build a chair; from a canopy, a shelter from the sun… Objects are part of the landscape; our role is to identify them, to appropriate them, to activate them. It is this tension that motivates the designer: beyond its functionality, how much should an object be a means of expression?
How would you deﬁne hospitality? How does one live in a museum?
RB: What I immediately liked about the architectural project of the Bourse de Commerce is how it emphasizes natural light and its openness to the outside world— since I am quite claustrophobic!
EB: Hospitality is inconspicuous courtesy. It means expressing to visitors— in an imperceptible, yet paradoxically obvious manner—that they are welcome, that they are invited to sit down, to read, to slow down, to reﬂect, to be moved, to contemplate: we must create the conditions for them to enjoy a moment all their own.
What was the work of contemporary art that ﬁrst marked you?
RB: What really inﬂuenced me was the discovery, in a bookstore in Quimper, of a book of photographs of Donald Judd’s museum and foundation in Marfa. It seems almost conventional today, but at the time it was less so, especially for Quimper! It was a book in German that I was never able to read— so a real fantasy— that has always remained my book of reference to this day.
EB: With Ronan, we were lucky to have, as children, a drawing teacher who took advantage of every opportunity to show us art, at the former Quimper Art Center or at the Kerguehennec estate. I remember mainly the paintings of Jean Hélion but also the works of Tony Grand, Mario Merz, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Janis Kounellis… Today, my absolute reference is Donald Judd, and I particularly appreciate the works of Malcolm Morley and Philip Guston.
François Pinault has decided to entrust the Bourse de Commerce’s restaurant, which will be located at the top of the building, to renowned father-and-son team Michel and Sébastien Bras— the next step in the impressive culinary journey, which has taken them from their native Aubras region to Japan, and now to Paris.
Michel Bras’s story begins in the countryside region of Aubrac. The Bras were cooks for generations— while his father was a blacksmith, his mother, a housewife, was constrained, for pecuniary reasons, to take a position as a full-time cook. As a child, Michel spent his youth in a furnace— of the forge, the oven, the stove. His character was formed during long hours of physical labor, fed by the happiness that comes from gathering loved ones around a dinner table. Even as an innocent child, he was able to perceive the magic of cooking, which he would one day make his own.
Michel grew up on this elevated plateau, this rocky climb, whipped by cold winds, in the Alto Braco region, a territory that straddles three départements— Cantal, Lozère, and Aveyron. The young boy learned to recognize the different wild herbs and flowers that grow there. He developed a strong constitution of flesh, silence, sky, and earth.
We might encounter the boy running through the green fields, pausing to gather queens of the-meadow, sorrel, picolingo stinging his tongue— later, in Vietnam, he would discover its Asian counterpart, rau-raum, coriander with a sharp flavor. He would gather fresh garlic, fresh goosefoots, following his instincts. He didn’t know it at the time, but he would eventually bring all those native herbs and plants into his kitchen and use them to flavor his dishes. The Aubrac region, with its powerful alchemy, determined his fate: he would become a cook.
Bras uses the myriad plants and flowers of the region in his cooking: his poetic gastronomy is inspired by the “natural fortress” in which he grew up, “this desert, in which the sky, minerals, vegetables, everything brings us back to basics.” Twenty-five years ago, with his wife Gi, he took over the premises of Le Délaissé (or the abandoned, the forsaken), so called because no one was interested in farming the land. Together, Bras would set it on a new path and transform its past.
Daringly Bras wanted to convey a contemplative vision of l’Aubrac, to stay as close as possible to nature. The architecture and design of his restaurant reflects this intention: a glass bubble, perched on the edge of a meadow, like a dewdrop. A gurgling stream merrily crosses their property. Bras has brought a new energy to Le Suquet, once abandoned. Visitors come from near and far to eat there. It was there that Bras invented le Gargouillou, a unique dish that has become renowned across the world.
Eventually his son Sébastien joined him, along with his wife Véronique, who together with Gi maintain harmony and tranquility. Father and son share an attachment to the land, the fields, rivers, and forests; they have in common a childhood spent on these lands, a keen awareness of the changing seasons. They traveled together, feeding their imagination both near and far. One day, they were invited to open a restaurant on the island of Hokkaido. Like in Lagardelle, where they grow silver sorrel, mint geranium, valerian, and fennel— plants gathered across the world— they would build a garden, an entire ecosystem, in Japan. The inspiration of these two sons of the Aubrac region knows no frontiers. While one feels a connection with the Fula people of South Africa, the other makes his own miso, using lentils from the Planèze region. Michel and Sébastien are open to all sources of inspiration.
They were invited to open a restaurant in Rodez, alongside the work of painter Pierre Soulages; in the hall of the musée Soulages, you can now find the Café Bras. The architecture of the building perfectly suits both Soulages’s outrenoir works and their style of cuisine: they have in common a refinement and purity of lines. Art is a universal language that adopts many different guises; gastronomy, like painting— or photography, Michel’s preferred hobby— is a metaphor. It gives meaning to the world. And it constantly reinvents and renews itself, incorporates new sources of inspiration. Never concerned with fashion, always true to itself. Such is, I believe, their simple truth!
Corinne Pradier, writer
The construction work required to convert the Bourse de Commerce into a museum of contemporary art had to take place within a very limited timeframe. This promise made by François Pinault to the City of Paris has led to an atypical schedule for the planned works.
While the designs of the renovation were being established, an initial operation took place to reveal the original walls of the structure and protect its elements of historic value. This began in January 2017, when the Chambre de Commerce handed over the keys to the building to Pinault Collection. A complementary analysis of the building was undertaken at this time.
Then, once surveys were completed, Bouygues was selected in April 2017 a project partner. Work on the site began in June 2017 and were completed in eighteen months.
We strived to limit, as much as possible, the perimeter of the construction site itself, being mindful to avoid interrupting the flow of traffic in surrounding streets. As the work could potentially inconvenience dockside workers nearby, we respected faithfully the conditions of the quality charter on construction sites established by of the City of Paris, with regards to limiting hours of work, noise pollution, dust, traffic, and waste disposal. Our goal was to meet the standards required for the building to be attributed a high environmental quality award, which means that we payed close attention to working conditions on the site.
The project also fostered social cohesion: 7 percent of work hours were undertaken by people doing work-training or who have been unemployed for an extended period of time.
Daniel Sancho, project manager