Climatic control and conservation of art works at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Design the Fondation Louis Vuitton was an unprecedented constructive challenge. The management of temperatures and humidity for the conservation of art works constituted real challenge for setec’s team subject to new architectural and environmental requirements.

As commonly required in other museums, it was crucial to ensure a temperature in the galleries of 24°c +– 1° (summer) and 20°c +– 1° (winter), and a rate of 50% +– 5% humidity. Aesthetic considerations made it more complex as in the permanent exhibition galleries, the architect did not want ceiling ventilation grilles. setec therefore devised a broadcast solution using peripheral slots at the bottom of chair rails in addition to a reversible hot and cold radiant floor. Already present at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, this concept was never before implemented by setec. Validation required dynamic thermal simulations and advanced 3D fluid mechanical studies in order to provide a mapping of temperature, humidity and velocity fields throughout all galleries.

Geothermal, solution to environmental challenges

In line with the Fondation’s commitment to maximize use of renewable energies, setec chose to rely on geothermal energy with groundwater heat pumps. Two reversible thermo-chillers operate via heat exchange with water from the pumps and feed the air handling systems and radiant floors. A very sophisticated installation which required precise definition of control settings for everything to work perfectly and conducted 13 drillings in the building’s outer wall in a narrow area as a result of ongoing structural Fondation work.



Manager of the HVAC department
setec bâtiment
Manager of the HVAC department at setec bâtiment, François Blondeau runs an active technology watch in order to meet the increasingly complex requirements of thermal engineering. He has developed expertise in tall and very tall buildings. 
Hydrogeologist and engineer
Hydrogeologist and engineer within the setec group at hydratec, Jacques Pouilhe has sound expertise in studies and project management for rehabilitation of contaminated sites and for exploitation of underground resources by geothermal boreholes.