The Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect has erected a reflective, stainless steel-clad building titled The Tower as the centerpiece of the Luma Arles arts campus in the French town of Arles. Gehry took great inspiration from the town’s surrounding landscape, playing off the nearby mountains and Arles’ own Roman architecture.
With The Tower, Gehry said, “We wanted to evoke the local, from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to the soaring rock clusters you find in the region. Its central drum echoes the plan of the Roman amphitheater.”
The twisting geometric structure is situated amongst traditional buildings in the 27-acre campus at the Parc des Ateliers in Arles. Constructed with a steel frame and a concrete core, the building towers above most of its surroundings at 56 meters high. The Tower emerges from a circular glass atrium that mirrors Arles’ Roman amphitheater. 11,000 irregularly placed panels create a jagged aesthetic that is highlighted by the glass boxes protruding from the dynamic, aluminum panels create a structure that is reflective of the limestone cliffs around the city.
The building adds a modern vision to the skyline of Arles, a city that is made up of structures that originate from the Middle Ages. The Tower now marks a significant establishment landmark for the French city, as it “seeks to capture the movement of discrete elements across a surface.” The Tower also sits atop a former railyard, left vacant since 1986. This project is amongst a series of industrial buildings Gehry has taken on to refurbish across the world.
The Tower is now open in Arles, France.
Elsewhere in design, Dover Street Market Paris opened a cobalt blue cafe with Crosby Studios.