Frank Gehry’s twisted tower of Loma Arles is scheduled to open in June

Frank Gehry’s twisted tower of Loma Arles is scheduled to open in June

The stainless-steel-clad Luma Arles arts tower designed by Frank Gehry to evoke Van Gogh’s Starry Night is nearing completion in southern France.

The Luma Foundation has released the latest set of images of the Luma Arles Arts Center in Arles ahead of its opening on June 26, 2021.

At the heart of the Arts Center in the French city of Arles is a 56-meter-tall tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gehry.

Frank Gehry's twisted tower of Loma Arles is scheduled to open in June
The stainless steel-clad Luma Arles arts tower is scheduled to open in June. Photography by Adrian Dewerdt

The 15,000 square meter tower will house seminar halls, exhibition spaces, research facilities, an auditorium and a café for the Arts Centre, which was established by Swiss collector Maya Hoffmann in 2004.

Its distinctive facade is clad in 11,000 irregularly arranged stainless steel panels, broken by numerous protruding glass window boxes. The angular tower rises from a cylindrical glass base.

Loma Arles Arts Tower by Frank Gehry
The tower has a glass cylindrical base. Photography by Adrian Dewerdt

According to the architect, the shape of the base was inspired by the Roman amphitheater in Arles, and its upper levels recall Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, which he painted in 1889 while in the nearby Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum.

“We wanted to evoke the local character, from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to the soaring rock clusters you find in the area,” Jerry explained. “The central drum reflects the plan of the Roman amphitheater.”

Loma Arles Arts Center
The tower forms part of the Loma Arles Arts Centre. Photography by Hervé Haute

Funded by a €150 million donation from Hofmann, the Loma Arles Arts Center is being built on the site of the former railyard owned by the French national railway company SNCF and left vacant in 1986.

Alongside the tower, a series of industrial buildings on the site are being converted into exhibition spaces by New York-based Selldorf Architects.

The completed Luma Arles arts center will be surrounded by a public park called Parc des Ateliers, which will be designed by Belgian landscape architect Bureau Bas Smets.

Canadian-American architect Gehry is one of the most prominent architects in the world, and his most famous buildings include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

The architect is currently designing a pair of skyscrapers in Toronto and restoring the entrance and vaulted walkway at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Main image by Dronimages.

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