The House of Martell is proud to announce the creation, in Cognac, of its new corporate foundation with a cultural and multidisciplinary vocation. Envisioned as a creative ecosystem, the Fondation d’entreprise Martell will offer a rich and varied schedule of events promoting the discovery and experimentation of culture and savoir-faire, as well as nurturing exchanges and collaborations on a local, national and international scale.
Located in the historic Gâtebourse building, whose modernist architecture makes it a landmark in Cognac, the Fondation d’entreprise Martell will inaugurate its debut exhibition – running from 14th October 2016 to 31st January 2017 – as a preview of the future schedule of events. An ambitious programme of improvements will then begin in the interior of the building, with the ground floor and rooftop terrace reopening to the public in spring 2018, followed by a gradual opening of the other floors as the work is completed. The entire 6,000 m2 of the Fondation d’entreprise Martell will be accessible in 2020/2021.
The launch of the Fondation d’entreprise Martell perpetuates the House’s tradition of patronage and collaborations, and reflects its desire to bring culture and savoir-faire to a wider audience. Founded in 1715 during the golden age of French art de vivre, the House of Martell has always been its proud ambassador, constantly reinventing it to combine heritage and modernity, excellence and curiosity, local ties and international influences. In touch with the creative world, Martell has long cooperated with architects, designers, artists and art directors, and regularly supports ambitious artistic projects.
The opening of the Fondation was also inspired by the House of Martell’s historic Gâtebourse building in Cognac. Built in 1929 on land acquired by Jean Martell in 1750, the structure – a stack of layers with five levels, three terraces and a rooftop terrace – was, until 2005, home to Martell’s bottling lines. The exterior renovation of the building, orchestrated by Bordeaux architects Brochet-Lajus-Pueyo, which opened up the façade, further strengthened the ties between the House of Martell and the town of Cognac.
With its diverse and original schedule of events accessible to a wide range of visitors, the Fondation d’entreprise Martell is set to become a new destination for cultural tourism in France. As a space of discovery and experimentation, the Fondation will draw the local Cognac heritage into a dialogue with artists and designers from all over the world. As a centre for innovation and culture deeply rooted in the local area, it aims is to become a motor for long-term growth and development, raising the profile of the entire Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
As its opening act, the Fondation d’entreprise Martell will display an in situ commission by the French artist Vincent Lamouroux on the ground floor of the building from 14th October 2016 to 31st January 2017. This immersive artwork, which will occupy more than 600 m2, will be curated by Nathalie Viot and produced by Less Is More Factory, offering an enticing glimpse of the future cultural schedule of the Fondation.
Image: Martell Gâtebourse © Philippe Caumes for BLP Architectes