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A Centre for culture and tourism

A cultural ‘plus’

With its extensive ski area, famous European Masters golf tournament, casino and ‘Caprices’ festival, tourism on the plateau at Crans-Montana doesn’t need being introduced and the Pierre Arnaud Foundation’s Art Centre will bring an added cultural plus.

‘Soft tourism’ approach

The Art Centre is at Lens, on the right bank of the Rhône between Sierre and Sion, in a region that enjoys optimal sunshine and is easily accessible in all seasons. After an enriching tour of the Centre, visitors should not miss completing their day with a walk in Lens, around Lake Louché and a stroll through the narrow streets skirting St-Pierre-aux-Liens church or up the hill on the Chemin du Christ-Roi to the Châtelard. This way, enlightened by exhibitions at the Art Centre, they will be able to enjoy the surrounding beauty, local traditions and heritage and look out to a wider world.

A cultural mediation programme is being prepared including the Art Centre in hiking tours and proposing events linked with nature and heritage.

Architecture and Mountains

Located at the heart of a mountain village on the high Crans-Montana plateau, the Art Centre has opted for a decidedly contemporary architecture that in no way disturbs the harmony of the traditional alpine site. Architect Jean-Pierre Emery designed a striking project where the building disappears beneath a roof garden sloping gently down to merge with the road behind. Like a mirror, the southern façade reflects the panorama of the lake and surrounding Alps like a shimmering painting, echoing the landscape that has inspired so many artists.

Visit the art Centre in 3D!

The façade - an emblem

Technological and aesthetic requirements

The façade of the Art Centre meets six particularly demanding criteria:

  • Mirroring the panorama of Lake Louché and the surrounding mountains
  • Producing energy thanks to photovoltaic solar panels
  • Guaranteeing optimal thermal insulation for the artworks
  • Meeting Minergie standards
  • Filtering the light necessary for the enhancement and protection of the works displayed
  • Staging interplay of light at night.

A unique façade in Europe

Thanks to the innovative process used to meet these requirements, the Art Centre’s façade is unique in Europe.


  • A 250 m2 façade comprising 84 photovoltaic solar panels
  • Installed in 2 days according to the LEGO® principle
  • Modules combining photovoltaic technology with the insulation system in order to ensure perfect thermal resistance.
  • Thermal insulation composed of nanoparticles which has two advantages: minimum thickness equivalent to 25 cm of stone wool insulation, as well as being a material which allows light to pass through it.
  • Average annual energy production of 15,000 kWh, i.e. the equivalent of the Art Centre’s total lighting requirement.

With its crystal-like purity, brilliance, beauty and cutting-edge technology, the façade has naturally become the Foundation’s emblem.

The perfect exhibition space

A challenging state-of-the-art exhibition area

The Pierre Arnaud Foundation’s Art Centre has been specifically designed for the presentation of temporary exhibitions. On two levels, the building offers some 1,000 m2 of exhibition space which can be adapted to the set design. Modern and equipped with the latest technological equipment, it offers ideal conditions both for visitors’ comfort and the conservation of the artworks.

Clever lighting

A spectacular façade covering the full height of the building’s southern face filters daylight. As external luminosity changes, the façade darkens or lightens in order to protect the works exhibited and ensure optimal lighting.

New Concept

As part of its plan to renew and reshape itself, the Fondation Pierre Arnaud has decided that in future, the theme of its exhibitions will serve as the common thread for a variety of irregular cultural events. Thanks to their provocative nature and the controversial aspects of some of the debates the foundation intends to organise, these events will maintain a level of momentum throughout the duration of the exhibition. For four months, the exhibitions will be housed on the first floor of the Art Centre. Shorter cultural events, contemporary exhibitions, and multidisciplinary talks will spread out and take place on the ground floor.

  • Calendar
    • Exhibition:

      Installation in progress


      None on that day
  • Opening times
    • Art Center (during the exhibition times)

      Closed Mondays and Tuesdays


      Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Contact
    • Pierre Arnaud Foundation
      Centre d’Art, Lens ⁄ Montana
      P.O. Box 39
      1, route de Crans
      1978 Lens, Switzerland

      Tel : 027 483 46 10
      info fondationpa.ch

      Restaurant L’Indigo
      Tel: 027 483 46 11
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