After Paris, with the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Frank Gehry permits himself a stopover in Provence. The American-Canadian architect has designed a 56-meter-high tower, nestled in the heart of the LUMA Campus in Arles, which will house a school, an artist residency and galleries. Scheduled to open 2018, this contemporary building will blend in with Arles’ historic setting.
An architectural gem, this former Roman colony so dear to Julius Caesar is the birthplace of many inspirations. Its ancient theater, amphitheater and baths, all listed UNESCO World Heritage sites, make it a city with a fascinating heritage. And it is precisely this and the Arles landscape that inspired Gehry for his tower.
The rugged look of the building resembles the Alpilles. The light that is reflected on the facets of its aluminum structure, create a rainbow of grays. It recalls Van Gogh's brushstrokes and the stones of ancient monuments. As for the glass cylinder in the center of the tower, lit up by the midday sun, it echoes the amphitheater of the Provençal town.
The architect has drawn inspiration from the personality of Arles. A heritage that, from Caesar to Gehry, from antiquity to modernity, continues to animate this unique and creative city.