Day 195/365 of Steel – Fondation Louis Vuitton

An iceberg in Paris.
Inauguration of the Fondation Louis Vuitton on 20 October 2014.

Fondation Louis Vuitton
Fig 1: Fondation Louis Vuitton
Photo: ©

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is located next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, the famous park on the west side of Paris. Constructed on the edge of a water garden, the building comprises an assemblage of white blocks (known as “the icebergs”) clad in panels of fiber-reinforced concrete, surrounded by twelve immense glass “sails” supported by wooden and steel beams.

Fondation Louis Vuitton
Fig 2: Fondation Louis Vuitton
Photo: ©

The sails give Fondation 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.

The building is enveloped by large glass structures with curved and variable geometry. Covering an area of 13,700 m², these structures define the architectural appearance of the complex. Some of them protect the terraces from weather and wind. In addition, the glass surfaces also reduce heat gain from solar radiation on the building.

They are positioned eccentrically in relation to the main volume, are supported and stabilized by wooden or steel columns (‘tripods’) and cables of varying length and inclination. The structure of these glazed structures consists of a combination of glued laminated beams and steel sections. The glazing consists of quadrangular curved panels without any geometric repetition.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Detail
Fig 4: Fondation Louis Vuitton Detail
source: greisch

The Belgian steel construction company Smulders produced and assembled the complex steel structure. And Bureau Greisch was responsible for the execution study of the glass structures: verification of the steel and wooden structures and of the glazing, static and dynamic studies of the wind effects, structural analysis of the fire resistance, design of the nodes, study of the assembly and of the different construction phases.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Structure
Fig 5: Fondation Louis Vuitton Structure
source: greisch

Pictures: Daylight

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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