Tour Luma.

Frank Gehry’s Glittering Luma Arles Tower Opens in the South of France

With a striking façade meant to evoke Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, the twisting structure will be the nucleus of Maja Hoffman’s 27-acre art and culture complex

The Luma Arles campus from above. Photo: Herve Hote

Sheathed in over 11,000 reflective steel panels, the glittering Luma Arles tower emerges from the Provençal landscape like a windswept tree, designed in part to pay homage to Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, the masterpiece painted during the artist’s stay at an asylum in nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Opening June 26, the 160,000-square-foot edifice, conceived by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Frank Gehry, forms the nucleus of collector Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation, an ambitious arts center built atop the remnants of a 19th-century rail yard. As the final piece of the 27-acre campus, which already features a series of industrial buildings transformed by Selldorf Architects, Gehry’s soaring addition will house exhibition spaces, seminar rooms, archives, a theater, and a café. “It is about composing a polyphonic score where everything is ordered, yet where everything is possible,” says Hoffmann.

The Luma Arles tower by Frank Gehry. Photo: Adrian Deweerdt

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2021 Summer Issue under the headline “Shining Star.” Subscribe to the magazine.

Cover: Tour Luma.


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