In December, Musée du Louvre opened a new gift shop – The New Louvre Bookshop. The project was launched 2 years ago as a part of a bigger “Pyramid Project”. The idea was to expand the space to meet the requirements of the museum. The Louvre, as we know it now, is one of the most visited museums in the world. The Pyramid was built in the late 1980s by noted architect I.M. Pei. A lot has changed since then and the space could no longer accommodate neither visitors, nor retail spaces. The project aimed at improving the visitor experience by redesigning the space.
The new shop occupies a huge space between the Carousel entrance and the Pyramid. Being one of the most important must-sees in Paris, the Pyramid has now one more reason to visit. Apart from a great selection of books and souvenirs the new store offers, it is also an architectural landmark.
The redesign of the new bookshop was done by two Paris-based agencies, RDAI Architecture and Gare Du Nord Architecture.
One thing to know about the former one: this firm is famous for the chic luxury designs among which are Hermes boutiques, Christie's auction rooms, hotels and restaurants. Curiously, the agency doesn’t have any track record of museum or art spaces designs (except the Christie's one).
Repurposing the spaces is one of the RDAI’s strengths. For example, the Hermes store occupies a former swimming pool space built in the 1930s.
The choice of the location of the bookshop, at the bottom of the Pyramid, is not random. After touring the exhibition visitors end up walking through the bookshop space where they can buy books, exhibition catalogues and designer items.
We absolutely love the interior design of the new shop. It very much resembles the Pyramid: geometrical ceilings, wooden floors, lighting and diamond-shaped bookshelves. It makes the space look even bigger and lighter than it really is.
The boutique now occupies more than 18 hundred square meters, and is divided into several sections such as art bookshop, and design shop selling jewellery and other design pieces.
The selection of items is diverse. The majority of the assortment consists of books on art and temporary exhibition publications. It also sells multi-lingual guides, exhibition merchandise, and design pieces. If you are looking for a perfect gift for a friend, take a look at designer silk scarfs with beautiful prints. The prices range from 20 to 80 euro. For more sophisticated customers the shop offers reproductions of Louvre sculptures in different sizes. For example, a reproduction of the statue Victory of Samothrace was made from a 3D reduction. The price goes up with the size. If sculpture reproductions are too pricey, consider purchasing prints. The shop sells prints of different sizes and formats such as paper, canvas. It can also be framed if you desire. Louvre’s new boutique selection is good for gifts, and offers many options to take home a small part of your museum experience.