The Louvre on the Surface
The Louvre, originally a royal palace but now the world’s most famous museum is a must-visit for anyone with a slight interest in art.
In 1981, the newly elected French president, Francois Mitterrand, launched a campaign to renovate cultural institutions throughout France. One of the most advantageous of those projects was the renovation and reorganization of the Louvre.
In 1983 after touring Europe and the United States, President Mitterrand commissioned the Chinese American architect, I.M. Pei. It was the first time that a foreign architect was enlisted to work on the Louvre museum.
Completed in 1989, I.M. Pei’s renovation redesigned Cour Napoleon, the main court of the Louvre, in order to alleviate the congestion from the thousands of daily visitors. A new grand entrance provided a convenient, central lobby space separate from the galleries, which provided a focal point for the cyclical process of one’s experience through the museum.
In addition to providing a new entrance to the Louvre, Pei’s design featured a new underground system of galleries, storage, and preservation laboratories, as well as a connection between the wings of the museum.
The addition and relocation of the supporting spaces of the museum allowed for the Louvre to expand its collection and place more work on exhibit.
The Louvre Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in the world. It is housed in the expansive Louvre Palace, situated in the 1st arrondissement, at the heart of Paris.