Louvre Pyramid

Napoleon courtyard of the Louvre museum at night time, with Ieoh Ming Pei’s pyramid in the middle.

The Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard (Cour Napoléon) of the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) in Paris. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.

Commissioned by the President of France, François Mitterrand, in 1984, it was designed by the architect I. M. Pei. The structure, which was constructed entirely with glass segments and metal poles, reaches a height of 21.6 metres (71 ft). Its square base has sides of 34 metres (112 ft) and a base surface area of 1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft). It consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments. The pyramid structure was engineered by Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Ltd. of Montreal (Pyramid Structure / Design Consultant) and Rice Francis Ritchie of Paris (Pyramid Structure / Construction Phase).

The pyramid and underground lobby

The pyramid and the underground lobby beneath it were created because of a series of problems with the Louvre’s original main entrance, which could no longer handle the enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis. Visitors entering through the pyramid descend into the spacious lobby then ascend into the main Louvre buildings.

Renovated lobby Louvre Museum

Designed for a museum that attracted 4.5 million visitors a year, the pyramid proved inadequate by the time the Louvre’s attendance had doubled in 2014. Between 2014 and 2017, the layout of the foyer area in the Cour Napoleon beneath the glass pyramid is undergoing a thorough redesign, including better access to the pyramid and the Passage Richelieu .