WHAT GOES AROUND: Bernard Arnault has made his identify because the entrepreneur behind the world’s largest luxurious group, however on Thursday he was honored for his contribution to actual property, receiving the award from one of many world’s most well-known architects.
Frank Gehry, who has collaborated with Arnault on a number of initiatives, most memorably the putting Fondation Louis Vuitton constructing close to Paris, flew from Los Angeles for the Pierres d’Or ceremony held on the InterContinental Paris Le Grand lodge.
“Working with Bernard Arnault is one thing of a pleasure, I can inform you. I like to recommend it for different architects. He’s an energetic and really dedicated consumer; he stays concerned with the initiatives and with the element,” Gehry instructed the group, made up of the French capital’s main actual property executives.
“Each of us share a love for the humanities, after all, however particularly for classical music, so after we work on a challenge collectively, even the restrooms, we attempt to make music. It’s like a illness, isn’t it Bernard?” he added, immediately addressing the chairman and chief government officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Accepting the particular prize, which marked the twenty fifth anniversary of the awards, Arnault recalled that he began his profession together with his household’s development agency Ferret-Savinel, overseeing its transformation into actual property agency Ferinel. From these early days of overseeing the constructing of properties, workplaces and factories in France and the U.S., he has saved an abiding love of structure.
“I haven’t practiced this career in years, as you in all probability know, but it surely was then that I perceived the potential in combining entrepreneurship and creativity to provide you with actual property merchandise that offered loads higher as a result of they’d this inventive, ingenious dimension that made them stand out,” mentioned the chief, who competes with Elon Musk for the title of the world’s richest man.
He famous that for greater than three a long time, LVMH has contributed to restoring historic buildings courting again to the Center Ages, along with engaged on new initiatives with architects together with Christian de Portzamparc, who designed the LVMH Tower in New York Metropolis. Arnault notably enjoys working with Gehry.
“It’s loads of enjoyable,” he mentioned. “He’s an exceptional architect however he’s very straightforward to work with. He’s not the sort of architect who says, ‘You pay the payments and I’ll deal with the structure, depart me alone.’ Under no circumstances. We work collectively very carefully.”
Arnault recalled the tough gestation of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which took 10 years to finish and has welcomed near 10 million guests since its opening in 2014. “Paris shouldn’t be straightforward,” he mentioned to applause. “Even when you might have the assist of town of Paris or the federal government, you’re not out of the woods.”
He teased plans for a cognac museum, to be designed by Gehry, subsequent to the Moët Hennessy cellars on the Charente river in Cognac, France. “It received’t be prepared for a number of years as a result of it’s an attractive constructing, however once more not very straightforward to construct, with copper on the within,” Arnault mentioned.
Chatting with WWD after the ceremony, Arnault mentioned he felt an obligation to protect Paris whereas serving to to modernize town.
LVMH has contributed 200 million euros to a fund to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral after it was destroyed by a hearth in 2019, and has revitalized the neighboring Pont-Neuf space, the place Pharrell Williams earlier this week confirmed his debut assortment for Louis Vuitton on the French capital’s oldest bridge.
Though some left-wing metropolis councillors criticized the posh group’s use of a public house for its present, Arnault famous that LVMH’s funding has remodeled the neighborhood, with the opening of the La Samaritaine division retailer and Cheval Blanc lodge in 2021 close to Vuitton’s headquarters.
“I don’t know in the event you keep in mind that little sq. down there. Ten years in the past, no one got here there. There was no level. Now, it’s one of many liveliest locations in Paris, and that’s terrific. And I imagine that, frankly, with out eager to boast, it’s actually because of us,” he mentioned.