An Oasis-Like Home for the Yageo Foundation’s World-Class Collection
In the heart of Taipei, entrepreneur and art collector Pierre Chen enlisted French interiors firm Liaigre to envision a serene getaway in which to take in the works of Niki de Saint Phalle, Anne Imhof, Yayoi Kusama, and more pioneering artists of our time.
The Taipei-based Yageo Foundation has grown to play a pivotal role in the international art world. Founded by entrepreneur and art collector Pierre Chen, the foundation helped execute the Tate’s current photography and painting exhibition “Capturing the Moment,” which features two seminal works by Andy Warhol and David Hockney from the foundation’s vast collection. With an emphasis on modern, post-war, and contemporary art from around the world, its key pieces include the gunpowder art of Cai Guo-Qiang, Louise Bourgeois’ disquieting Spider, and more.
Frauke Meyer, creative director of French design and interiors firm Liaigre, worked closely with Chen—a longtime client—to create a 5,400 square-foot headquarters to house the collection in Taiwan. The result: a moody, sensual jewel box in the sky, hovering just above—but a world away—from the bustle of the city. Ample warm, rich accents and plush entertaining spaces keep visitors’ focus right where it ought to be: on the art.
The main objective was to combine Pierre Chen’s art collection with his lifestyle. An avid wine collector and a passionate businessman, he is also an outstanding host who enjoys bringing friends together from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds. He wanted the Yageo Foundation to combine exhibition and workspaces with generous seating areas, a teppanyaki kitchen and a wine bar.
What colors and materials are central to the visual identity?
Luzerna stone, rich cedar, dark brown tinted oak, and black patina brass coalesce to construct a luxuriously inviting atmosphere, while strategic lighting accents amplify the setting’s ethereal elegance.
What stands out to you the most now that you’ve finished it?
With its timber and stone walls and ceilings, the art foundation is a hidden gem and a totally unexpected place in the established environment of Taipei.
What were your references of inspiration?
The foundation is located on the second floor of a 15-story building in Taipei. Its windows frame views of the treetops in the garden outside. The interiors benefit from these views: there’s a moody, almost cinematographic atmosphere inside.
The space is intended to be a calm, harmonious environment for art, taking care to avoid a superfluous, loud design language. To bring in as much natural light as possible, semi-transparent partition doors were created between the great reception room and the entrance. They take their strong pattern from the influence of architect Auguste Perret’s Palais d’Iéna.
What provided a welcome distraction on the job?
The team’s discovery at this occasion was the fish market in Taipei at Xinyi District where you can choose your super fresh dinner from huge bassins with living fish and shellfish. After a long day of work on site, this experience was generally the teaser of the end of the day.
What’s your favorite detail?
The main attraction is the Spider, installed over the living room setting in the office of Pierre Chen. You are literally sitting among the artwork of Louise Bourgeois. You can not live with art more intensely.
Next project on the horizon?
A spectacular hôtel particulier spanning five levels next to the Palais des Expositions des Beaux-Arts, facing the Louvre, in Paris.
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