How does one walk the tightrope of architectural aesthetic without succumbing to clumsiness or extravagance? With daring and balance, says architect, town-planner and designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte. At the Carrousel du Louvre, he offers an injection of youth, light and effective signage. The Soissons-born designer has known the site well, since the 1993 creation of the inverted pyramid by architect Ieoh Ming Pei. Without impairing the atmosphere, a renovation of the site was needed. “People used to walk past the entrance to the shopping center on the Rue de Rivoli
“We worked on small adjustments for the interior. For example, we focused on the lighting to make it brighter yet subtler. We also developed the unused spaces, such as the connecting corridors with the subway lines, and used perforated sheet metal and appropriate lighting to reproduce renowned masterpieces from the Louvre collections,” he says. The result speaks for itself. It’s hard to not to be astonished when standing before the Louvre Carrousel as if carved out of crystal and boasting the same angular shapes found in pyramidal motifs on the nearby Place Carré. The same reaction can be expected upon observing the illusion of vast volumes created by an intelligent use of anamorphosis, which reveals sections of the Louvre’s Grande Galerie overlooking the Allée de France. “You get a taste of the museum as soon as you leave the subway. It’s as if the space was an antechamber or prelude to the permanent exhibitions.” A well-executed exercise in tightrope walking, defined by elegance and sobriety.
Content By: So Barnes
Written By: Harry Kampianne