Frank Gehry in the Clouds

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Bertrand Rindoff-Petroff

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LVMH boss Bernard Arnault kicked off Paris fashion week with a very elaborate press conference Monday morning to announce a $127 million Louis Vuitton foundation to be built in a popular children's park—Le Jardin d'Acclimatation—in the Bois Du Boulogne. None other than mega-star architect Frank Gehry has been tapped to design the place.

Gehry was on hand—along with the mayor of Paris and the minister of culture—to present the model of his "cloudlike" glass building. "The garden brought to mind Marcel Proust and Remembrance of Things Past," Gehry told the crowd of journalists. "I could picture him there with his friends. And in this garden, which is for children, the idea of making a strong, formal gesture seemed inappropriate." So a glass cloud that will appear to be floating over a reflecting pool will be constructed. The projected date of completion is end of 2009, beginning of 2010.

The foundation itself will serve as a place to illustrate the creative process—whether it be contemporary art or fashion. Arnault pointed to the highly successful collaboration of designers like Marc Jacobs with artists like Murakami as a starting point. "But we will also explain, for example, how Basquiat and Dubuffet could be seen as related," Arnault said. Artists will also be invited to create pieces that relate to the neighboring playground—a gesture, no doubt, to appeal to the kids and their beloved park.