Galeries Lafayette foundation to open official space early March 2018

It's been in the works for a while, but the opening date has finally been announced. Lafayette Anticipations, the exhibition and design space created by the Galeries Lafayette foundation, is set to be inaugurated on March 10 in the Marais in Paris, with its first artist installation featuring Lutz Bacher. 

With the foundation launching in 2013, this latest haunt for artists, designers and creatives is the coming together of the department store group's first project. And, after three years in the works, the foundation will now have an official building, much like the Cartier and Vuitton foundations in Paris.

A model of the foundation, located between rue du Plâtre and rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie - Lafayette Anticipations

From March 2018, the general public will be able to enter the newly renovated building - transformed by architect Rem Koolhaas and the OMA agency - via dual access from rue du Plâtre and rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie.

With open access on the ground floor, the building will serve as a new entry point and thoroughfare for the Galeries Lafeyette department store group: linking BHV Marais, then going back through the BHV Homme, through the food project Eataly, until reaching the foundation.

March 2018 will see the group's initial transformation of the quartier materialise, but also its engagement in design.

More is now known about the Lafayette Anticipation's program and content. First off, the first exhibition slot has been given to American artist Lutz Bacher; an original installation designed to enter into conversation with the new building by Rem Koolhaas. There are three to four exhibitions slated to take place each year hosted by varying creatives and studios, with a multidisciplinary approach when selecting the artists. The venue doesn't just want to be an exhibition centre, but also a place of creative output, covering contemporary art, design and fashion.

The foundation during renovations - Lafayette Anticipations

As for the architecture, a modular approach has been chosen, transforming the 2,200-square-metre, 19th-century industrial building into an 'innovation platform game.' In the central courtyard, an 'exhibition tower' composed of four platforms and steel and glass, will take shape with the ability to adapt for different projects.

In addition to the exhibition space, production studios, a young person's space, a restaurant and a store will all be integrated into the design mix. 

Under the guide of Lafayette Anticipations' chairman by Guillaume Houzé, François Quintin is the delegated director for the project, assisted by a collective composed of Charles Aubin, Anna Colin and Hicham Khalidi.

Open to the general public next year, an 8 euro price tag for exhibitions is expected with free entry for the first two days of opening, March 10 and 11, 2018.

Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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