Department of Islamic Arts at Musée du Louvre
by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

| 15 comments
 

An undulating golden plane blankets the new Islamic art galleries at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, which opened to the public this weekend (+ slideshow).

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

Designed by Italian architect Mario Bellini and his French colleague Rudy Ricciotti, the new gallery wing is surrounded by the neoclassical facades of the museum's Cour Visconti courtyard and has two of its three floors submerged beneath the ground.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

Tessellated glass triangles create the self-supporting curves of the roof and are sandwiched between two sheets of anodized aluminium mesh to create a golden surface both inside and out.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

Above: photograph is by Philippe Ruault

"It's more like an enormous veil that undulates as if suspended in the wind, almost touching the ground of the courtyard at one point, but without totally encumbering it or contaminating the historic facades" said Bellini.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

Beneath the roof, two exhibition floors accommodate over 2500 works by Islamic artists from the seventh to the nineteenth century.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

Glass facades surround the galleries at ground floor level, so visitors can look out at the surrounding architecture, while the underground galleries are filled with artworks that are sensitive to light.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

The layout of the galleries is designed as a loop, which connects with the existing routes of the museum and encourages visitors to enter the new wing.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

A third floor is located beneath the galleries to house technical facilities and storage areas.

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

We’ve noticed a trend in golden buildings recently. See more of them here »

Department of Department of Islamic Arts at Louvre by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti

Section - click above for larger image

Photography is by Antoine Mongodin, apart from where otherwise stated.

See more stories about art galleries on Dezeen »

  • pat

    Oh my gold!!

  • Paul

    Really nice to see some recent work of Mario Bellini here on Dezeen. He is one of my all time favourite industrial designers.

  • Warren Lissner

    What a wasted opportunity. The space under the ‘tent’ looks really claustrophobic and with no views up to the wonderful facade around the courtyard. Not the best design that makes use of the context at all.

  • dezy

    Just like when you put your head under the blanket, you can’t see anything and you can’t breathe. Maybe that was inspiration.

    • dezy

      After the Pyramid and Blanket next is something like Elbphilharmonie.

  • kahmin9

    All the panels are in the same sizes? Or are they all different?

    • http://twitter.com/Dezeen @Dezeen

      According to the architects, there are 2400 triangles and they all measure approximately 120x120x160cm.

      Amy/Dezeen

  • papusie

    The blanket is a mesh fixed above glass panels and provides a subtle see-through view of the facade around the courtyard. Wonderful project.

  • ilya

    I think it would be better if the blanket would continue until the building. The union between the golden blanket and the ground troubles me. The light inside is the same: it could also be interesting to have some holes in the blanket to get both a view and have spots of natural light to accentuate the space.

  • Gabriel

    Guys, this is an art gallery! You don't want sunlight coming in, you don't want to focus on the exterior, you're there to appreciate works of art!

  • MAG

    It’s all the negative comments on this feed (and others) that make this industry so full of $hit, pretentious and pompous. Why not just enjoy it and if you don’t, leave your comments out of it. Don’t hate, appreciate.

    • christian

      Thanks for the comments MAG and Gabriel!… from one who was part of the project.
      I wonder how many people who comment here have seen the original?

  • http://complexitys.com Francesco

    Thanks for the post. You can find more info and construction photos on our blog. http://complexitys.com/louvre

  • steven

    Some more information on the steel supplier’s website: http://www.waagner-biro.com

  • Julia

    I visited this weekend and really loved the relation of the old building and the new structure! I like that this golden veil is floating in the courtyard without touching it and all the connections with the building are made by strong, box-like masses.

    @ilya: I don’t think it should continue up to the building and it’s better without any holes on the roof! The indirect light coming from the walls of the old building and the filtered light from the top is enough for a museum and also gives a really nice ambiance.