In Gold We Trust: a cartography of luxury

Never in the history of humanity, the term “luxury” has been used so often as in these first decades of the 21st century. Going back to the roots of the world’s once-obscure etymology, we find it associated – correctly or incorrectly – with concepts of brilliance or excess. This project is an invitation to embrace thousands of luxury faces, from the ancient treasures of in the lands of the Middle East to its more global, contemporary aspect in the flamboyance of Haute-Couture and high-end jewelry.

Each part of the project evokes a crucial moment.
They often resonate with the fundamental concerns of today’s societies in reflecting a test and a sensibility, a relationship to spirituality and the sacred, a sense of community, environmental and ecological awareness, consumption, and economic rivalries.

From archaeological remains to modern-day visions, luxury has been open to many forms of expressions, oscillating between consumerist abundance – brands, products, and logos so numerous that the very idea of luxury has been lost – and the enduring presence of more demanding sensibilities. The idea that luxury is time, space, the possibility of travel, the idea that the ultimate luxury is time to oneself.

The aim of the project is to consolidate a new icon of luxury in the current Parisian scene. Paris has always been the eternal capital of luxury, but it has more competitors each day, hence the need for a new luxury icon to attract the spotlight

This building aims to bring together the six types of luxury, religious luxury, luxury as art (accumulation of rare objects), luxury as fashion, luxury as a shopping, luxury as worship of the body and finally luxury as time and experience of the senses.

In addition, the creation of an itinerant pavilion is proposed, commemorating the luxury pavilion: Pavillon de l´Elegance et de la Parure, created in 1937 next to the Musée d’Orsay for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne by Architects Emile Aillaud and André Ventre.

This pavilion will be created once a year, in a competition between different architects, the winner will have the necessary means and resources in the first package of the building (Workshops 1 & 2) to prepare any necessary object, then, the dismantled pavilion, will travel in a peniche (native Parisian bote) along the Seine, where it will stop at iconic locations and will be assembled in the proposed place.

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