I’ve found the best museum in Paris. It’s off the beaten track and it’s more amazing than you might think: The Foundation Louis Vuitton. Despite the fashion house name, the museum houses temporary exhibits of modern and contemporary art. The location, the building, the exhibits, and the events are so incredibly inspirational! Here’s why I’m so obsessed and why next time you go to Paris, the Foundation Louis Vuitton has to be at the TOP of your list.
The Foundation Location
Bois de Boulogne, one of the largest
parks forests in Paris called You can spend a whole day there exploring the nooks and crannies of the lakes, running trails, and island restaurants (yes, that’s a thing). I’ve rented boats on the northern lake and picnicked in the park multiple times. During the summer, locals (keyword: not tourists) fill the Bois de Boulogne looking to beat the heat and spend time outdoors.
The Foundation Architecture
Even if art bores you and you would rather spend your time watching sports (*cough* my boyfriend *cough*), the building itself merits a visit on its own. Constructed by Frank Gehry on the edge of a staircase waterfall, the building consists of a series of glass “sails” supported by wooden beams and iron. You can get a bit lost weaving your way through the six stories of exhibition space, staircases, and terraces. Gazing over the forest on the top terrace gave the experience of being in a massive tree house or experimental butterfly exhibit. The architectural space creates an experience in its own.
With six stories of exhibition space and terraces, the Foundation Louis Vuitton is an architectural marvel created by Frank Gehry. It’s constructed on the edge of a outdoor staircase waterfall and consists of a series of glass “sails” supported by wooden beams and iron. Exploring the building, you get a bit lost in the most wonderful way, climbing up escalators and weaving your way around the staircases and floors. On the top terrace, I felt like I was in a massive tree house or in a huge experiential greenhouse.
The Foundation Views
“The sails give Foundation Louis Vuitton its transparency and sense of movement, while allowing the building to reflect the water, woods and garden and continually change with the light. ” – Arch Daily
Climb to the top of the Foundation Louis Vuitton and…holy cow. With the sun setting and cascading light through the glass structures, I fell in love a hundred times that day with the city of Paris. You get incredible views of La Defense skyline, the treetops of Bois de Boulonge, pastel architecture of neighboring homes that defines Paris, and–of course–the Eiffel Tower.
The Foundation Art
The art exhibits at the Foundation Louis Vuitton are amazing. I’m a modern and contemporary art fanatic, thus, it was so cool to see some of the incredible artists that have rotated through the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston like Jesús Rafael Soto (throwback to #SotoSummer) and Yayoi Kusama as well as discover new ones! Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room — Phalli’s Field was immersive and fun and tbh the concept that knowingly or not has inspired a lot of Instagram “pop-ups”. I loved the abstract paintings, the massive sculptures, and the larger than life pixel works that fill a cavernous halls. The Foundation Louis Vuitton is large, but not too large (looking at you Louvre). It has the perfect amount of quality art that makes the trip worth it, but doesn’t overwhelm you with chaotic quantity. Don’t go looking for fashion though, you won’t find anything with the “LV” emblem.
The Foundation Events
If you can time your trip to Paris to be when the Foundation Louis Vuitton is hosting an event, I highly recommend that you do. I went to “La Nocturne Jazz” or the Night of Jazz in July and it was incredible. The museum stayed open late on a Friday night and hosted a series of concerts on their terrace and auditorium. We sipped on craft beer and limoncello spritzes, snacked on gourmet bites from a Presqu’ile pop-up, listened to jazz, and fell in love with Paris as the sun set over the park. If I’m ever in Paris again after this summer, I will for sure be rearranging my travels so that I can visit the Foundation Louis Vuitton again.