Seventeen years after stunning Europe with his Guggenheim Bilbao, Frank Gehry has given the continent another eye-popping creation, this time in Paris: the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Comparisons with the Guggenheim are pointless. Gehry has gone back to the drawing boards and designed what looks like a very big ship -- with thick wooden membranes, tilting glass sails, and a cascade lapping at its base. The Vuitton Foundation looks, to me, like a 21st-century Noah's ark.
The architecture stirs you -- by its look, and by its scale. To get a sense of that scale, see the minivan in the first image. Gehry has constructed a wholly functional interior, with large rectangular spaces and (mostly) straight walls. The 100-million-euro building was commissioned by Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, as is clear from the Gehry-designed logo on the facade. Here's my interview with Gehry last year: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/gehry-designs-house-for-pitt-garden-for-zuckerberg.html.