Frank Gehry’s Luma Arles tower; Photo credit: Dezeen and photography is by Atelier Vincent Hecht.

Frank Gehry’s New Luma Arles Tower Shines in Use of Mixed Metals

Dezeen.com reports, “Scaly aluminium cladding and projecting glass boxes wrap around Frank Gehry’s Luma Arles tower, which is nearing completion in the south of France in the City of Arles. Pritzker Prize-winning Gehry is an American-Canadian architect best known for the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum Bilbao that opened in Spain in 1997.

The structure was designed by Gehry as the centerpiece of the Luma Arles, an arts centre established by Swiss collector Maja Hoffmann that began construction in 2014.  The distinctive facade of the tower has 11,000 aluminum panels irregularly arranged around its concrete and steel frame.

According to The Architect’s Newspaper, “Gehry drew inspiration from Van Gogh’s felt presence in the city to design a building of an equally otherworldly vision.” It goes on to say, “Much like Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street in New York City, Luma Arles Tower was envisioned as a sculpture above a pedestal. Reaching a height of 180 feet, the tower’s top half is composed of over 11,000 Rimex Linen metal panels that clad an irregularly shaped concrete and steel frame.”

Projected to open this Spring, the building will host a wide range of programs for the arts center, including archives, exhibition and presentation spaces, seminar rooms and a cafe/restaurant.

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