The Luma Arles is a unique cultural complex located in the picturesque town of Arles in southern France. It was established by Swiss art collector and patron Maja Hoffmann, who was inspired to create a space that would promote contemporary art, photography, and literature, as well as support research and experimentation in these fields.
The complex occupies a vast industrial site that was once home to a railway workshop and a number of other factories. The site was abandoned for many years before Hoffmann acquired it in 2013 and embarked on a massive renovation project, which was overseen by the award-winning architect Frank Gehry.
Today, the Luma Arles is a bustling hub of creative activity, comprising a variety of buildings and spaces that are open to the public. These include exhibition galleries, artist studios, a research library, a bookstore, a café, and a park. The complex also hosts a range of events throughout the year, from concerts and film screenings to talks and workshops.
One of the most striking features of the Luma Arles is its architecture. Gehry's design incorporates both new and old elements, seamlessly blending the industrial heritage of the site with bold, contemporary forms. The centrepiece of the complex is the soaring, 56-meter-tall tower that Gehry calls the "Parasol." Clad in shimmering stainless steel panels, the tower houses exhibition spaces and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Another notable building is the "Archive Tower," a cylindrical structure that contains the extensive archives of the French photographer Lucien Clergue, as well as other collections of photography and film. The tower is clad in thousands of aluminium panels that form an intricate pattern of sunshades, and its interior is a spiral of ramps and galleries that allow visitors to explore the archive at their own pace.
The Luma Arles is also home to a number of artist studios, which are located in a series of renovated industrial buildings. These spaces provide artists with the opportunity to work and create in a supportive, collaborative environment, and many of the works produced here are showcased in the complex's exhibitions.
In addition to its galleries and studios, the Luma Arles also has a strong focus on research and experimentation. The complex includes a research library that houses a wide range of materials on contemporary art, photography, and literature, as well as a residency program that invites artists and researchers from around the world to come and work on projects related to these fields.
Overall, the Luma Arles is a truly unique and inspiring space that reflects the vision and passion of its founder, Maja Hoffmann. Through its diverse offerings and commitment to innovation, the complex is helping to shape the future of contemporary art and culture, both in France and beyond. Whether you're a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about cutting-edge of creativity, the Luma Arles is a must-visit destination that is sure to captivate and inspire.
- In 2013, Swiss art collector Maja Hoffmann acquired an abandoned industrial site in Arles, France, with the vision of creating a space that would promote contemporary art, photography, and literature.
- The Luma Arles, as the complex is known, underwent a massive renovation project overseen by architect Frank Gehry, with the goal of seamlessly blending the industrial heritage of the site with bold, contemporary forms.
- The complex officially opened to the public in 2020 and features a range of buildings and spaces, including exhibition galleries, artist studios, a research library, a bookstore, a café, and a park.
- The Luma Arles is renowned for its striking architecture, which includes the soaring Parasol tower and the cylindrical Archive Tower, as well as its commitment to research and experimentation in the fields of art, photography, and literature.
- Today, the Luma Arles is a bustling hub of creative activity, hosting a range of events throughout the year and providing artists and researchers from around the world with a supportive, collaborative environment in which to work and create.