Here at Grace Fine Art, we love a good vault. Give us that good temperature control and perfectly maintained humidity, and we’re in art lovers heaven. And we’re not alone, as the new Louvre Conservation Centre is coming into commission.
The Musée de Louvre, located on the banks of the river Seine, is vulnerable to flooding as the water rises more each year. This means that several permanent exhibition galleries and storage spaces are in flood zones, and the Paris Police Prefecture has issued warnings about the risks of flooding on numerous occasions since 2002.
While the Louvre does have a flood prevention plan in place, there were still concerns that not all artworks could be saved in time should the Seine actually break its banks. To address this, the British architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designed the new Conservation Centre.
The Centre not only provides protection against flood risks, but also gives the Louvre a means to improve conservation conditions and offer a more suitable space for study and research, becoming the largest research and study centre in Europe. It also brings works into a single location, rather than being scattered over 60 different storage spaces.
This new space is unique in providing both safe and secure storage and improved research and study capabilities, allowing experts and academics to consult art works, conduct research and participate in training. The opportunity to develop and strengthen scientific and cultural partnerships will benefit not only the French people, but human society for decades to come.
The new Centre is also offering a place to store priceless art at risk within regions engaged in conflict. Upon the request of States, who are the rightful owners of such works, the Centre will store works as a temporary measure until armed conflicts are over and it is safe for the works to be returned. This will not only protect works but ensure they can continue to be enjoyed well into the future.
The Centre boasts approximately 18,550m2 of floor space, about half of which will be used for storage. The building has been designed to fit in with the landscape, including a garden on the slightly sloping roof, while combining light filled spaces and cutting-edge technology to ensure art works can be studied, enjoyed and well protected all at once. As an added bonus, the building has a very high thermal mass, making it energy efficient and eco-friendly.
At Grace, we understand the importance of designing and maintaining our vaults to withstand a wide range of climate and environmental factors. Speak to us today to discuss how we can securely protect your items.