Paris, France 2001



PROGRAM: invited competition for the Foundation Francois Pinault including galleries, university, cafes and public amenities
CLIENT: Pinault Foundation
    SIZE: 38,000 sq ft
STATUS: competition

The concept for the Pinault Foundation on Ile Sequin, Paris is a salute to Stephane Mallarme’s epic poem Un Coup De Des (A Throw of the Dice). Simple rectangular galleries in a range of sizes in fine proportions and light are joined around five "thrown" armature spaces. These shaped voids form a vast internal spatial sequence. Here we imagine collaborating on new permanent artworks with artists such as Walter de Maria, James Turrell, Richard Serra, etc. Around the Foundation at the edge of Ile Seguin are located cafes and terraces connected by a continuous electric tram. The activities of the sitting and moving crowds loop the site and are near the water’s edge, while the heart of the Foundation is a ‘spiritual refuge’….a place of personal reflection….a place free of the noise and smell of automobiles. Free in a zen-like emptiness of poetic reverie. While the overall reads as one building, the internal concept is of three types of major spaces each inserted into the other (thing within a thing within a thing). The transformation of the Renault Factory site which built out Île Seguin will have a social/public ideal equal to the Art Foundation’s ideals.


  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect )
    • Annette Goderbauer ( project architect )
    • Asako Akazawa, Jason Frantzen, Li Hu, Matt Johnson, Chris McVoy, Brian Melcher, Aislinn Weidele (project team)
  • structural engineer
    • – Guy Nordenson & Associates
  • mechanical engineer
    • – Ove Arup & Partners
  • engineer
    • – Jacobs Serete