Pioneering Vision


Arles, France

The Luma Foundation project at the Parc des Ateliers is an attempt to imagine and create a cultural institution of a new type. It aims to support the activities of independent artists, as well as institutions working in the fields of art and photography, publishing, documentary, and multimedia.

Established in 2004, LUMA Foundation is a pioneering and well-funded enterprise that encompasses projects that spring from the mind of its founder, Maja Hoffmann. Named after Hoffmann own childrens, Lucas and Marina, it aims to support the activities of independent artists, as well as institutions working in the fields of art and photography, publishing, documentary, and multimedia. The Foundation produces, supports and enables challenging art projects committed to an expansive understanding of environmental issues and human rights. In Arles, France—whose history dates back to ancient times—Hoffmann has dreamed up an experimental cultural center. A 20-acre campus with 100,000 square feet of exhibition space built within former manufacturing plants.

Arts Resource Building, Victor Picon.

“The spirit of our project is to make sure that it is an activator of the artistic, cultural, ecological, social and economic fabric of Arles and Camargue, in the delta of the Rhone in the Mediterranean, through an exchange and a continuous connection with the world and its evolution.”

– Maja Hoffmann

Working closely with a core group of artistic consultants as Tom Eccles, Liam Gillick, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, Beatrix Ruf and architects Frank Gehry and Annabelle Selldorf, this ambitious project is dedicated to the production of exhibitions, ideas, research, education, and archives and is supported by a growing number of public and private partnerships. Centerpiece of the running after renovation structures is the fascinating curvy tower of Frank Gehry’s design. It establishes the Arts Resource Center, standing out for its reflecting aluminum surfaces.
It will tower 200 feet above the town when it will open in 2020. Gehry’s design is intended to recall the facades to the rocky walls located near the city, the same walls that inspired Vincent van Gogh in some of his paintings, when he was also resident in those areas; the ample circular atrium inside will instead recall the Roman amphitheater of Arles.

Aerial view of the site, Hervé Hôte.




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