The word of GUILLAUME HOUZÉ

President of Lafayette Anticipation, Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette

Photo: Alexandre Guirkinger, June 2015

Photo: Alexandre Guirkinger, June 2015

For 120 years, Galeries Lafayette has developed, as a family business, by cultivating values that were there from its inception and which now provide solid foundations on which to build; “the unique encounter of creativity and commerce, accessible to all”. To derive the full potential of living in the present also means accepting the radicalism of the new. This means taking the initiative to surprise, to amaze, and to disrupt and disturb; which is what we expect from art. 

To satisfy our thirst for creativity, we must drink from the source – close to the artists. Their work pushes us to freely exercise our judgment, and forever alter our view of ourselves, and of the world. We believe that partnering with artists can inspire the Fondation d'entreprise to define its identity, its commitments and its responsibilities (for the greater good).  

In order to anchor our project in the heart and the life of the city, we asked Rem Koolhaas and his agency, OMA, to completely reconstruct a building on the Rue du Plâtre, in central Paris, so that it might become a local base for engaged creative production in a global world. Lafayette Anticipation, Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, will open in 2017, creating a space for artists and citizens to participate in the transformation of shapes and ideas. 

The core of the project is to create the perfect intersection where fashion and industrial designers, artists, performers and other creatives, can exchange ideas and practices with a wider audience and produce something new. Lafayette Anticipation, Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette believes that this encounter will sharpen our view of the present and engage in the modern dynamic that runs parallel to what has always driven great department stores since their invention.  While none of us knows exactly what the future holds, I believe in the strength of creative collaboration and what it can contribute to making the most innovative ideas realities.