It takes courage, a lot of courage, to convert a 250-year-old former commodity exchange – located very close to the Musée du Louvre – into a contemporary museum. Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando has demonstrated this courage for the Pinault Collection. He has added a contrasting horizontal line of exposed concrete marked by dots in the rotunda, which is rich in history.

Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection in Paris; Photo: Patrick Tourneboeuf.

The grand rotunda inside the soon-to-open Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection in Paris. Photo: Patrick Tourneboeuf.

The museum is not yet open to the public, but the website accompanies the construction work and provides insights into Ando’s fascinating work. There, the architect says of his construction: “By incorporating new spaces in it while respecting the city’s memories engraved in the walls, I will transform the entire interior of the building into a space for contemporary art. Again, it’s about creating a building that connects the past with the present and the future.”

According to the project description, the Bourse de Commerce will “… have ten exhibition galleries as well as reception and mediation rooms. They can show different presentations or work together in a continuum. A 284-seat auditorium will host lectures, meetings, projections, concerts, etc. The studio, a huge ‘black box’ in the basement, is ideal for presenting video and sound works. The foyer, located around the auditorium, will also be able to host performances, installations and free forms.”

After an announcement that the museum would open on 23 January 2021, this was again postponed indefinitely due to Corona.

Francois Pinault is a French entrepreneur and art collector. He owns one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art with works by Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, among others. Until the Bourse de Commerce opens, however, the works collected by Pinault can be seen in the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, which has also been converted into a museum by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Other works from Pinault’s collection have been on display since 6 June 2009 in the Punta della Dogana, the former seat of the Venetian customs authority.