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Copyright International Fire Protection 2016
Like billowing sails in the Bois de Bologne: the museum from outside.

Siemens protects unique works of art

Like billowing sails, a new Paris landmark rises above the treetops of the world-famous Bois de Boulogne Park: the Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum designed by none other than U.S. star architect Frank Gehry. But it’s not just its design that is groundbreaking: The technical infrastructure of the multi-award-winning 11,000 m2 building sets new benchmarks as well. This includes state-of-the-art building technology from the Siemens Building Technologies Division.

The spectacular private museum is the brainchild of Bernard Arnault, billionaire, patron of the arts and chairman of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the publicly traded French holding company that owns majority shares in more than 60 luxury brands. The sculptural building resembling an iceberg is enveloped in glass sails up to 46 meters in height. The massive entrance hall leads to 12 exhibition galleries, each of a different shape and size. The museum has shown mostly 20th century art since it opened at the end of October 2014. In its very first year, the Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum broke a record of over a million visitors – quite a feat in light of the strong competition from the many other cultural attractions in the French capital.

The Shchukin Collection on view

Every year, three major special exhibitions provide additional appeal and ongoing fresh momentum. The current one (“Icons of Modern Art – The Shchukin Collection,” running from October 22, 2016 to February 20, 2017) is dedicated to Sergei Shchukin, one of the greatest collectors and patrons of French art of the early 20th century. With great pride, Jean-Paul Claverie, an adviser to Bernard Arnault, told the news agency Agence France-Presse that it will be a historic event the world is not likely to see again for quite a while. He could be right because this is the first time that 130 masterpieces from the Shchukin Collection, including impressionist, post-impressionist and modern works, will be seen together outside of Russia. Special emphasis is on the art of Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Rousseau, Derain, Matisse and Picasso in addition to works by Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh. In other words, this selection represents one of the most radical and visionary art collections of its time.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum is setting new benchmarks in design and technology.

Optimal climate

Its value? Priceless for the art world. The insurance amount alone is likely to be in the high triple-digit million euro range. “Such enormous values are protected effectively and efficiently by our integrated building technology solution,” says Jacques Ravoire, Director of the Ile-de-France Nord/Est Region of Building Technologies and in charge of this project. The temperature is kept at a constant 25 degrees Celsius throughout the building. Depending on the weather, controllers installed in the floor provide fully automatic heating or cooling. Ravoire adds: “This results in maximum comfort for visitors and optimal climatic conditions to preserve the sensitive exhibits while ensuring the best possible environmental compatibility.” Earlier, the French certification authority Certivéa had selected the Fondation Louis Vuitton as a pilot project for its new quality seal Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE). The intention is to award the HQE seal to buildings housing cultural assets that have minimized their energy consumption.

Siemens provides optimal climatic conditions and fire safety for sensitive exhibits and visitors.

Siemens provides optimal climatic conditions and fire safety for sensitive exhibits and visitors.

Siemens has the most efficient system

The Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum has achieved just that through measures such as screen printing on the glass surfaces to reduce solar radiation, high-efficiency insulation and a geothermal heating and cooling system from Siemens. Franck Valladeau, Director of Operations at Fondation Louis Vuitton, says: “The Siemens team succeeded in maintaining the temperature inside the building using the energy of 12 degree Celsius groundwater.” In combination with the PXC automation stations, the building management system Desigo Insight offers fully automatic control of the temperature and hydrometry in all galleries to meet the requirements of the exhibits. This Siemens building management system is smart, flexible and intuitive. Clear graphics, a trend viewer, alarm management, scheduling, reporting and analytics make it easy to control the entire building and its many functions. “After in-depth analysis we decided to go with the Siemens solution because it is the most efficient system on the market. Another factor that convinced us was the expertise and experience of the Siemens employees,” explains Director of Operations Franck Valladeau.

In addition, the museum is equipped with a Siemens fire safety system consisting of the Sinteso FS20 fire control panel, the STT20 fire detection system as well as Pro Sens and Top Sens fire detectors. Rigorous testing proved their efficiency even in rooms with very high ceilings and in light of the challenging volume effects characteristic for this type of building. Finally, the Siemens contract package includes comprehensive 24/7 maintenance for all facilities – with a guaranteed response time of just four hours. “Our complete package of maintenance services and high return over the long term, as well as the reliability of our systems, offer our customers maximum efficiency,” promises Ravoire. “We are very proud that we were able to contribute our top-rated equipment and expertise to the Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum, a sensational building that attracts visitors from around the world.”

For more information, go to www.siemens.com/buildingtechnologies

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