Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris – © David H. Enzel, 2024

The Bourse de commerce (Commodities Exchange) is a building in Paris, originally used as a place to negotiate the trade of grain and other commodities, and used to provide services to businesses by the Paris Chamber of Commerce during the latter part of the 20th century. It has its origins in a circular wheat exchange built in 1763–67, with an open-air interior court that was later capped by a wooden dome replaced in 1811 with a copper one (supported by an iron skeletal structure). In a major reconstruction in 1888–89 much of the structure was replaced, although the layout remained the same and the dome was retained albeit adding glass and a mounted canvas.

In 2016, the mayor of Paris offered French billionaire and businessman François Pinault (1936-) a 50-year lease on the Bourse de Commerce for a lump sum of €15 million, plus yearly fees. Shortly after, the Paris City Council approved the project to transform the building into an exhibition space for contemporary art, including pieces from Pinnault’s eclectic private collection of more than 3,500 works valued at around €1.25 billion.

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris – © David H. Enzel, 2024

The light-filled building benefited from a $170 million redevelopment by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando (1941-), who previously worked with Pinault at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. Ando installed a 108-foot-diameter concrete cylinder inside the central rotunda, creating a core display area while retaining the framework of the original.

Since 2021, the building has been the Parisian exhibition site of the Pinault Collection. The dome of the building is listed as a historical monument.

Through its exhibitions and events, the Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection offers a fresh and original perspective on a group of contemporary artworks that François Pinault has put together over the last fifty years as a collector and patron of the arts.

The immense dome is just plain fun to experience; the art is modern and original.


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