frank gehry's twisting LUMA tower in arles, france nears completion

frank gehry's twisting LUMA tower in arles, france nears completion

frank gehry and his team are soon to complete the undulating LUMA tower, which now soars over the picturesque city of arles in southern france. the ancient roman city is characterized by its architecture of heritage buildings dating back centuries along with its amphitheater — founded in the year 90 AD — which recalls the language of the roman colosseum. with its historic urban fabric and warm, mediterranean climate, arles is known for its connection with artist vincent van gogh, who inhabited the city between 1888-1889. now, another famed artist makes his mark on the area with a tower clad in a skin of stainless steel panels.

frank gehry luma arles
all images by vincent hecht



swiss collector maja hoffmann — founder and president of the LUMA foundation — leads the frank gehry-designed LUMA arles. the tower will showcase some of the art world’s biggest names. while the monumental project occupies a former rail depot, it connects two former rail structures which had been recently converted into exhibition facilities by new york city-based firm selldorf architects.

frank gehry luma arles



the LUMA tower will host a variety of such programming as research facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, and artist studios. surrounding the project will be a public park to be designed by landscape architect bas smets. click here for designboom’s previous coverage of the project, and see more photography by vincent hecht on our dedicated tag page.

frank gehry luma arles frank gehry luma arles frank gehry luma arles frank gehry luma arles frank gehry luma arles frank gehry luma arles frank gehry luma arles



project info:


project title: LUMA arles

architecture: gehry partners LPP, selldorf architects

landscape architecture: bas smets

client: LUMA foundation

location: parc des ateliers, 45 chemin des minimes, 13200 arles, france

photography: vincent hecht

  • Beautiful building that adds to the rich architectural history of Arles! I had a tour of the parc des ateliers and learned that the design of the building will allow it to keep cool inside during the hot summer months without the use of aircon.

  • Absolutely hideous! How can anyone design this, commission this, and approve this to be built?

    Anthony Sully
  • An ugly, twisted man having his revenge on a world he believes failed to treat him with the honors he deserves. His patron, in turn, astonishingly naive, reveal their self loathing. It is a vicious circle.

    Robert A.B. Sawyer

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