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Dreaming of France: 29 Avenue Rapp

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Scrolling through my Instagram& finding this image, I’m surprised I haven’t shared this particular French door for Dreaming of France before. 29 Avenue Rapp boasts what might be the most famous door in Paris. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful.



Designed by Jules Lavirotte in 1901 it’s a striking example of Art Nouveau architecture and features the very risque sculpted Adam and Eve above the door. I first saw the building in the movie Gigi as the building where Gigi's Aunt Alicia lives and where Gigi goes for her lessons in how to catch the right man. Preferably someone rich like Gaston.

Naturally when Mark and I visited Paris, we had to pay the building a visit. What struck us about 29 Avenue Rapp was how many people just walk on by, as if were nothing special, just another old stone edifice, the door, just another entry. I think even if I lived on the block, even if I saw the building and its door every single day, I would still have to pause and take it in. Not a whole …

Art+Architecture: The Frank Gehry Design for Louis Vuitton


I don’t suppose most people go to Paris looking for architecture by Canadian-born, LA-based Frank Gehry but the designer of eye-popping buildings like Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall and Spain’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has certainly made a mark on the city’s urban landscape. Gehry’s designs are always controversial but after seeing the model for the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris at the new Gehry exhibit at LACMA today, I can’t help wondering what the French make of the creation popping up out of the Bois de Bologne like a futuristic sailing ship, ready to take off into the sky?

Model for the Louis Vuitton Foundation; credit: mois

For the time being, the closest I’ll come to seeing the building is here in L.A. where the Gehry exhibit at LACMA has just opened and features a dizzying 200+sketches and over 65 models. Some built, some yet to be built and some that never will. And yes, one of those models is, as pictured above, the model for the Luis Vuitton Foundation. I don’t know about you but when I think of Louis Vuitton I think of overpriced luggage and hand goods but the foundation is a separate entity, a private cultural initiative designed to “promote and support contemporary artistic creations for a wide French and international audience.” 


You can’t redo old ideas…you can learn from the past but you can’t continue to be in the past. I cannot face my children if I tell them I have no more ideas and I have to copy something that has happened before. It is like giving up and telling them there is no future for them.”   Frank Gehry

The creation, like all of Gehry’s creations, is a showstopper. Designed by Gehry+Associates, so is this exhibit. I go a little gaga over models, with their teeny faux people and trees. I want to be put in that ‘honey, I shrunk the kids’ machine and crawl right in and have a look around. The hour that I spent with the visionary Frank Gehry wasn’t nearly enough to see it all so I’ll have to go back. Plenty of time, the exhibit runs through March 16, 2016. 


When in Paris: 

The Louis Vuitton Foundation 
8, Avenue du Mahatma Ghandi, Boi de Boulogne, 75116
+33 1 40 69 96 00


When in Los Angeles: 

LACMA 
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, 90036
323 857-6010 


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This is a little different for me but I got so inspired after visiting the Gehry exhibit, I couldn’t help myself.
Looking for more French-inspired info?
Hop over to my friend Paulita’s Dreaming of France meme


Comments

  1. As a Canadian I like that he now has a project in Paris. Good for him. That said I do not like seeing modern buildings in old cities. I like to keep everything the same.

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    Replies
    1. As a quasi-Canadian I feel the same pride:) Being a purist, you must hate the glass pyramid at the Louvre.

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  2. I love architecture and that is one impressive building.

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    Replies
    1. He is a genius; mind blowing stuff.

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  3. I love the architecture of Paris and while this is certainly different, I love it. Just a shame I'm a little far away from Paris

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    Replies
    1. If your travels bring you to SoCal, check out LACMA.

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  4. I think this looks amazing and I can understand your fascination with the model. I do wonder what the French people think about it. Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France. I can always count on you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Paulita, you know I love playing along.

      Delete

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