Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

Entered by BDS VirCon

An iconic museum with glass sails

The Foundation Louis Vuitton is one of the latest projects designed by the renowned Gehry Partners. This iconic structure stands in the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris and will house the new Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum's structural cover of glass sails, supported on stainless steel frames on top of a structural steel and timber glulam main frame. The 12 sails form a cloud over the museum, with numerous curves and angles, each reflecting its surrounding of parkland trees and the Paris skyline. BDS VirCon, contracted by Eiffage Construction Metallique, to detail out the stainless steel frames, along with the glazing fixing plates, main frame and locating base frames.

A unique BIM project

Because of the complexity of the geometry the only actual drawings produced were those for the fabrication of the parts and assemblies, all other information was provided between each party directly from the 3D modelling process. Gehry Partners delivering 3D requirements via Digital Projectâ„¢ to Eiffage for the structural design, then from Digital Projectâ„¢ data exchange files were issued to BDS for importing into Tekla for BIM collaboration and detailing. The nature and intent of the project setting out meant 3D interfacing between the different software's had to be the only way forward. Even with the supply of intricate drawings for fabrication, they had to be supplemented with electronic files and 3D data exchange files, on top of the CNC files for part fabrication via automated machines, BDS also supplied 3D.dwg files to speed up and aid setting out and quality control of all node points.

The multiple curved glassing surfaces of each sail meant the stainless steel mullion supports having to following these curves, and also transoms spacer beams with varying end plate rotations. Eiffage were able to automate the fabrication of these members, with aid of Tekla and BDS, using the geometry information created from the model to supply the required information to the CNC machinery. The opening of the Foundation Louis Vuitton Foundation is expected during 2013. BDS VirCon's knowledge of how to get the most out of Tekla made for a successful project, along with a client and project team willing to work with us in providing the right information to all parties involved at the right time.