La Musée du Louvre is home to a stunning collection of art: 60.000 square meters of display room house about 35.000 pieces art.
If you took one minute to appreciate each of them and worked your way through the museum for five full working days a week, it would take you about three months to see the whole collection on display. At which point you would still need to see the other 90% of the collection that is in storage.
It was originally built over 800 years ago to ward of Viking raids after which it served as France’s national treasury and became the royal palace before finally being turned into a museum about 200 year ago. Its 2000 strong personnel work hard to attract nearly 8 million visitors per year at a budget of almost 200 million Euro. The Louvre is conveniently located in the centre of the universe: Paris.
All in all, the French have good reason to call it ‘le Grand Louvre’.
It took plenty of resources such as money, time and talent to create something this grand. In an age of extreme affluence we could and should be building Louvres all over the globe. The United Arab Emirates are planning to do just that in Abu Dhabi.
I’m sure they will throw a lot of money in the effort to hire the worlds finest architects and to buy the worlds finest pieces of art. For starters they paid a whooping 500 million dollar just to use the name ‘Louvre’. With their notoriously deep pockets, they seem to have ample resources at their disposal.
Impressive but not very imaginative.
Sometimes a lack of resources can be a infinite source for creative thought. It was the lack of bandwidth and storage capacity witch catapulted the development of good audio compression techniques, resulting in the invention of the MP3 format.
This ultimately lead to a nifty little devices like Apple’s iPod. Interestingly the iPod lacks a lot of the buttons and options than most other MP3 players have on offer. It is by far the most popular digital music player on the planet.
So what kind of grand experience would you design if we took away half of the Louvres budget? How would you design the Louvre if an earthquake destroyed its majestic real estate? What if you had to move the Louvre to the moon? What if some thieve managed to steal all 300.000 pieces of art? Or a bit more cruel: what if some spell took away all of the Louvre’s visitors ability to see?
What kind of Louvres can you come up with?