After the creation, in 2004, of the LUMA Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting contemporary artistic creation, Maja Hoffmann launched the LUMA Arles project, in 2013, on the Parc des Ateliers. This creative campus offers artists new perspectives for creation, collaboration, and presentation of their work to the public.
Key figures of the LUMA project
- 2004: creation of the LUMA Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland
- 2013: launch of the LUMA Arles project on the Parc des Ateliers, a 27-acre site
- 2014–2021: renovation of the industrial buildings by Selldorf Architects
- 2014–2021: construction of The Tower designed by Frank Gehry
- 2017–2021: creation of the landscape park by Bas Smets
The LUMA Foundation, Zurich
The LUMA Foundation was established in 2004 by Maja Hoffmann in Zurich, Switzerland, to support artistic creation in the fields of visual arts, photography, publishing, documentary films, and multimedia.
Considered as a production tool for the multiple initiatives launched by Maja Hoffmann, the LUMA Foundation produces, supports, and funds artistic projects that aim to deepen the understanding of issues related to the environment, human rights, education, and culture.
LUMA Arles in the Parc des Ateliers
“There is one driving-metaphor for LUMA Arles: that of a living organism. As such the balance between form and function will determine its viability. The trick is to compose a polyphonic score where everything is ordered, but where everything is possible”.Maja Hoffmann
In 2013, Maja Hoffmann launched LUMA Arles, an interdisciplinary creative campus where, through exhibitions, conferences, live performances, architecture and design, thinkers, artists, researchers, and scientists question the relations between art, culture, environment, human rights, and research.
Both a place of production and experimentation for artists and the public, LUMA Arles hosts annual exhibitions of major artists, works by leading figures in contemporary creation, specific commissions, and in situ projects. Archives of artists, photographers, and exhibitions are accessible in conditions worthy of the greatest international institutions.
This artistic programing is supervised and developed by Maja Hoffmann and the “Core Group” a group of international advisors comprising curators, directors of cultural institutions, and artists, namely Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Beatrix Ruf, Liam Gillick, Tom Eccles, and Philippe Parreno. New members are expected to join the group soon. With Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Tom Eccles acting as non-executive artistic co-directors, the Core Group was expanded in 2019 to include Sophia Al Maria, Ian Cheng, and Paul B. Preciado to discuss future programmes. These international advisors are supported by LUMA Arles Director of exhibitions and programs Vassilis Oikonomopoulos.
Since its creation, LUMA Arles has commissioned and presented the work of more than 100 artists, thinkers, and innovators across multiple venues in the city of Arles.
The Parc des Ateliers
The Parc des Ateliers is a former railway wasteland covering 11 hectares. On this site, the Tower designed by Frank Gehry and seven former factories from the 19th century industrial heritage interact in perfect harmony.
The Parc des Ateliers is a former railway wasteland covering an area of 27 acres. On site, The Tower designed by Frank Gehry and seven old factories from the 19th-century industrial heritage dwell in perfect harmony.
LUMA Arles is located on the Parc des Ateliers, a site that was first operated by the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée (PLM) company, which became the SNCF in 1938.
The establishment of this creative campus in the Parc des Ateliers required the reorganization and transformation of the premises in order to gain maximum flexibility for research and artistic production.
The renovation of several industrial buildings in the Parc des Ateliers was entrusted to Selldorf Architects. Les Forges, La Cour des Forges, La Mécanique Générale, La Formation and Le Médico-Social are now used for different purposes such as exhibitions, presentations, and artists’ residences.
La Grande Halle was renovated in 2007 at the instigation of the PACA region and has not been renovated since.
The Tower designed by Frank Gehry completes these spaces and offers new perspectives on the artistic programming of the place.
The landscape garden, park, and pond surrounding the campus are the work of landscape architect Bas Smets. Conceived as a journey through the fauna and flora the region, the 10-acre park is a place of life, interaction, and leisure that welcomes everyone. As they stroll through the park, visitors will discover artworks, sculptures, and installations.