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Luma Arles campus, including Frank Gehry's shimmering tower, set to open on 26 June 2021 in France

France Architecture News - Mar 12, 2021 - 15:48   8915 views

Luma Arles campus, including Frank Gehry's shimmering tower, set to open on 26 June 2021 in France

The shimmering Luma Arles tower designed by Frank Gehry has been set to open on 26 June 2021 in the southern French town of Arles in France, which is situated the heart of the Luma Arles campus. 

Being one of the hotly-anticipated projects of Frank Gehry, the tower is situated on a 27-acre creative campus at the Parc des Ateliers in the city of Arles bringing together artists and innovators of the future. The campus is set to open to the public on 26 June 2021. 

The official opening date of the campus has been announced by the Luma Foundation, and it said the official opening will be arranged according to the latest government guidelines in connection with Covid-19.

Frank Gehry's Luma Arles tower was photographed by architectural photographer Atelier Vincent Hecht in 2020, providing a poetic visual set captured from different perspectives. 

Luma Arles campus, including Frank Gehry's shimmering tower, set to open on 26 June 2021 in France

Luma Tower imagined by Frank Gehry, January 2021 Luma Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Arles (France). Image © Adrian Deweerdt

The overall campus is privately funded by Maja Hoffmann's Luma Foundation and it is expected to cost around $175M in total. 

Maja Hoffmann, an avid Swiss art collector, art patron, documentary filmmaker, impresario, and entrepreneur, launched Luma Arles to plan, develop, and manage the Parc des Ateliers, an expansive former industrial site located in Arles, France in 2013. 

At the heart of the campus is Frank Gehry’s spectacular 15,000-square-metre tower features a twisting geometric structure finished with 11,000 stainless steel panels. 

The tower will house exhibition galleries, project spaces and the Luma’s research and archive facilities, alongside workshop and seminar rooms. 

The campus is also home to seven former railway factories, four of which have been renovated by New York-based firm Selldorf Architects as exhibition and performance spaces. 

The surrounding gardens and public park are designed by Belgian landscape architect Bas Smets. A twinkling tower, designed by Canadian-born American architect Frank Gehry, will be one of the seven industrial buildings. 

Luma Arles campus, including Frank Gehry's shimmering tower, set to open on 26 June 2021 in France

Aerial view of the site, June 2019 Luma Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Arles (France). Image © Dronimages

"We wanted to evoke the local, from Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ to the soaring rock clusters you find in the region," said said Frank Gehry describing his project. 

"Its central drum echoes the plan of the Roman amphitheatre," Gehry added.

The Arles project is the brainchild of Maja Hoffmann, who established the Luma Foundation in 2004, as a leading international philanthropic organisation. 

The Foundation focuses on the direct relationships between art, culture, environmental issues, human rights, education and research. It is dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to experiment in the production of new work, in close collaboration with other artists from a variety of disciplines, with curators, and diverse audiences.

From 2008 to 2020, the development of this creative campus in Arles has been led by Maja Hoffmann working with a small dedicated team, and the collective input from a Core Group of advisers (Tom Eccles, Liam Gillick, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, and Beatrix Ruf). 

Luma Arles campus, including Frank Gehry's shimmering tower, set to open on 26 June 2021 in France

Aerial view of the site, September 2020 Luma Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Arles (France). Image © Hervé Hôte

Luma has already commissioned and presented the work of more than 100 artists and innovators at sites in Arles, including the ancient Roman amphitheatre, and the Luma Arles campus.

In July 2010, Maja Hoffmann, Founder and President of the LUMA Foundation, said: "There is one driving-metaphor for LUMA at the Parc des Ateliers: that of a living organism." 

"As such the balance between form and function determines its viability. It is about composing a polyphonic score where everything is ordered, yet where everything is possible," added Maja Hoffmann.

The city of Arles is located in the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the Mediterranean South of France, between two nature reserves, the Camargue wetlands and the mountain range of Les Alpilles. 

Arles became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, incorporating its Roman and Romanesque lega- cy which includes the monumental Arles Amphitheatre, the Alyscamps and the antique theatre.

Top image: Luma Tower imagined by Frank Gehry, January 2021 Luma Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Arles (France). Image © Adrian Deweerdt

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