The Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation may have a slightly Zoolander-esque ring to it, but there's nothing fictional about the new art centre that is taking shape in central Paris.
Designed by Frank Gehry, the scheme will sit on a park-side site in the Bois de Boulogne in the west of central Paris. The intention of the project is to build upon the Louis Vitton art gallery that's already in operation on the top floor of its main store in the Champs Elysees with an additional 6,500 square metres of space to host exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
As one would expect from Gehry, the design features what appears to be a thin shell structure - that is a complex network of glazed curves set over a metal framework totaling some 10,000 square metres of surface space.
In reality the 16,000 wall panels encase and hide the functionally shaped main structure of the museum with their framework mounted on and projecting off the interior. To get the fašade material to fit each of the panels has the same dimensions, although the curvature varies widely so that they can fit together like a complex jigsaw.
For assembly of such a structure maintaining the exact dimensions is essential so there is a high level of quality control employed in the manufacturing of the panels. Each of them is scanned and mapped by a computer and compared to the architectural design to make sure they are within the necessary 1 millimetre tolerance requirements. Once the quality control is passed an RFID tag is added so that each panel can be placed in the spot marked out on the plans much in the same way one cheats at a puzzle.
With construction on the project having reached the stage of the fašade being assembled, Parisians are now able to watch the world's largest jigsaw puzzle take shape.