World-famous architects found side by side in France – and at Battersea Power Station

Norman Foster and Frank Gehry have been photographed celebrating together at the opening of Gehry’s latest project at the Luma cultural complex in the south of France.

The pair were pictured with their arms round each others’ shoulders at the sun-drenched, star-studded event in Arles.

The Norman Foster Foundation posted the picture on its Instagram account, along with others of Foster with Luma’s founder, Maja Hoffmann, and Gehry’s geometrical tower. They were taken by photographer, art dealer and collector Simon de Pury who was also a guest at the celebrations.

Last month France relaxed coronavirus restrictions to allow internal travel, indoor entertaining and no masks in most outside settings so Hoffmann seized the opportuity to send out a 600 invitations for the gala dinner and other opening weekend events, Vanity Fair reported.

Guests included artists Ólafur Elíasson and Liam Gillick, Serpentine Gallery artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and other art world luminaries such as billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen and collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza. Foster is believed to have been able to attend because he lives in Switzerland.

Luma Arles is an 11ha “creative campus” in the former rail yards of Parc des Ateliers in Arles where art will be both exhibited and created. 

The opening programme will include displays of art by more than 45 artists and designers including Elíasson, Carsten Holler and Etel Adnan – and a full-scale glow-in-the-dark skatepark by Koo Jeong A.

Gehry’s twisting nine-story tower is the centrepiece, visible from across the historic city. It is formed from four interconnected towers backed by a concrete core and rising from an 18m high glass drum.

Buildings by Foster and Gehry are currently going up side by side at Battersea Power Station where each architect has designed housing for the latest phase of the £1.15bn redevelopment.

>> Also read: In pics: Luma Arles opens with twisting Gehry tower at centre