New building by Frank Gehry, centerpiece of an 11 hectare creative campus at the Parc des Ateliers in Arles.
The LUMA Foundation announces the opening on June 26, 2021 * of LUMA Arles, an 11 hectare creative campus in the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, bringing together the artists and creators of tomorrow.
At the heart of the campus stands the spectacular 15,000 square meter tower designed by Frank Gehry, whose twisted geometric structure was completed by the installation of 11,000 metal panels. The building will house exhibition rooms, galleries for in situ projects and LUMA’s research and archives centers, as well as multi-usage rooms, particularly for conferences and working groups. The campus also includes seven former railway factories, four of which have been renovated by Selldorf Architects to become modular exhibition and performance spaces. The surrounding gardens and park are the work of landscape architect Bas Smets.
The project in Arles was imagined by Maja Hoffmann, who in 2004 created the LUMA Foundation, a very active international philanthropic organization. The Foundation focuses on the direct relationships between art, culture, environment, human rights, education and research. It intends to offer artists the possibility of producing and experimenting with their new works in close collaboration with artists and actors from other disciplines, curators and audiences from all walks of life.
From 2008 to 2020, the development of this creative campus was led by Maja Hoffmann supported by a team of close collaborators and the support of the Core Group (Tom Eccles, Liam Gillick, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno and Beatrix Ruf). Throughout this period, LUMA sponsored and presented the work of more than 100 artists and creators on sites in Arles, including in the Roman arenas and the LUMA Arles campus at the Parc des Ateliers.
In July 2010, Maja Hoffmann, the founder and president of the LUMA Foundation declared:
“If there is an image, a metaphor to characterize this 21st century institution, it is that of a living organism. Where the question is no longer whether the spaces are open or closed, but in what mode they are functioning at the present moment. Where always, somewhere, something is happening. ”
Along with the construction sites, the program of exhibitions and living archives, la Bibliothèque est en feu (the Library is on fire), Offprint, Atelier Luma and the Luma Days, the residences and the beginnings of Luma Winterschool have been successively registered for 10 years, in the straight line of this vision more relevant than ever in these times of planetary transition.
Describing the building he designed, Frank Gehry added:
“ We wanted to evoke the local, from Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ to the soaring rock clusters you find in the region. Its central drum echoes the plan of the Roman amphitheatre.”
The city of Arles is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur region, in the south of France, in the Mediterranean, between two nature reserves, the Camargue wetlands and the Alpilles mountain range. Arles became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, forty years ago, for its Roman and Romanesque heritage, with the arenas, the necropolis of Alyscamps immortalized by Vincent van Gogh and Gauguin or the ancient theater.
* Dates and conditions of reception subject to government announcements