Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Pei: 'I won't be around to see Louvre alterations completed'

  • Comment
World-renowned architect I M Pei has told the AJ of his excitement and sadness over the remodelling of his celebrated glass pyramid at the Louvre.

In a candid interview, the 89-year-old spoke of his regret that he will not be around to see the altered pyramid after the necessary changes have been completed.

'I won't be here to see it finished, so I hope it will be successful. I hope it will last,' he said.

'The problem is not the pyramid itself, but what's under it. There is now a security tent for checking bags, and there are huge queues of people waiting for tickets, which lead to a large amount of traffic.

'The pyramid is not functioning as expected,' he added. 'There is not enough public space - it's a scale problem.'

The reason for this, Pei says, is the pyramid was originally designed to house 4.5 million people, but the building now caters for 7.5 million, with that number likely to jump to 9 million by 2010.

'The challenge will be finding more space in the existing pyramid, and it will need an architectural solution. I will be the one who will find the right solution, which I will be presenting to Didier Selles [the Louvre's chief executive director] in September,' he said.

'There are many challenges with the remodelling. The Louvre is not like the British Museum or the Metropolitan Museum - the French ticketing system takes longer, so crowds begin to swell in the space.

'We have already been in discussion with the Louvre and they are making changes, but my job will be to make sure the changes are architecturally consistent with my original design.'

by Richard Vaughan

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.