Can you get used to beauty? Sometimes I think I can, and then I return to Venice, exit the station and the lagoon overwhelms me with its splendor. It’s then that I realise no: it’s impossible, or at least very difficult. I haven’t been back to Venice for years and this time I have to thank Louis Vuitton, who invited us to the private showing of the exhibition: FOUNDATION LOUIS VUITTON BUILDING IN PARIS BY FRANK GEHRY CON L’INTERVENTO DI DANIEL BUREN running until November 26 at the Espace Louis Vuitton in Calle del Ridotto; located on the last floor of the boutique. The exhibition retraces the creative steps, both in terms of the ideas and the planning, that gave birth to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris – the incredible building designed by Frank Gehry, which we had the chance to visit last October right after the spring summer 2016 show.
It’s a place, which through an extremely original composition of spaces and materials, plays with the idea of internal and external. It looks amazing both from the outside, with its large transparent sail, and from the inside – a labyrinth in which to lose yourself among the rooms interspersed with pieces of art, gardens and terraces. And if the end result is absolutely extraordinary, so is the conception and creative process, highlighted perfectly by the exhibition at the Espace in Venice, which shows the entire process: starting from the drawings and finishing with the little models, made using digital techniques, but also modified by hand by Gehry’s team. A journey “consecrated” by the site specific work of Daniel Buren, who for the occasion has created an installation of light and color (echoing his latest work: Observatory of Light, shown at the Foundation last May) that reminds you slightly of narrative stained glass church windows, which bestows the exhibition, which is architectonic and technical at heart, with a magical aura.
So when would the best time to open this heart in Venice be, if not when the city hosts the Architecture Biennale? Every two years during this period an exhibition dedicated to the most interesting architectonic projects in the world is launched. This edition, curated by Alejandro Aravena, is completely focused on environmental and human sustainability, and we had the fantastic opportunity to visit it the day of the private showing (with a guide! It’s not easy to navigate the maze of rooms and understand what there is in front of you…let’s just say that architecture is not always intuitive!). Some advice for those of you who aren’t experts, but want to spend some hours at the Biennale: start with the Central Pavilion, you need to see everything in order to gain some general knowledge and an overview of the most relevant projects regarding this year’s theme, then choose three or four national pavilions to visit. Lastly take a walk around the gardens, very often the pavilions are extremely beautiful structurally and it is worth admiring them, also from the outside!
If you want to treat yourself to a five star experience then indulge, as we did, in lunch at the Hotel Bauer terrace at the Ristorante de Pisis, (or if you have the chance to stay over, then have dinner); the menu is a delight to the palate and the position too for the eyes as well, because of its location by the Grand Canal. Venice we’ll be back soon!