Those on Louvre museum private tours know how to skip the line and enter the Louvre through the glass pyramid at the main entrance. Recently, the glass pyramid featured in the Hollywood production “Wonder Woman” and people were able to recognize that it is Louvre at a single glance. Below are some interesting facts about the glass pyramids at the Louvre.
A Grand Entrance
During the 1970’s, the vintage museum in Paris had a struggle to cope with growing number of visitors, as the entrance back then was too narrow and each wing had a different entrance. The ‘Grand Louvre’ project proposed by the French president François Mitterrand expanded the space and modernized the Louvre Museum in 1981.
Also known as the Pyramide du Louvre, the structure is triangular in shape and made up of glass, of course. A Chinese-born architect named Ieoh Ming Pei suggested to François Mitterrand the idea of a subterranean entrance to Louvre Museum with accesses to three wings of the museum.
Having studied the works of André Le Nôtre, a French landscape architect, Pei conceived the geometry of the Louvre museum pyramid. Pei also opted for glass cladding since that would allow light to trespass in the foyer below the pyramid. Just like the museum itself, the pyramid entrance is a landmark site in Paris and came into being in 1989.
Pyramid Design and Geometry
The pyramid’s entrance is somewhat modest in terms of size as opposed to the surrounding palace wings of the Louvre. There are three smaller pyramids as well as reflecting pools with fountains by the flanks of the glass pyramid in Louvre. The pyramid is made of 675 diamond-shaped and 118 triangular shaped glass panes, and 128 steel girders and 16 steel cables hold the panes intact.
Underneath the pyramid, an inverted glass pyramid exists, known as the Pyramide Inversée. Those on Louvre museum private tours could go to the foyer in Louvre and see the inverted pyramid, and even see through clear blue skies above it during daytime.
Further within touching distance of the inverted glass is a tiny little stone pyramid in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall. In 1993, the Louvre museum added the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall underneath the glass pyramid to its major tourist attractions.