The Louvre Museum first opened its door on August 10, 1793, with a small but magnificent collection of 537 paintings, the most of which came from royal collections or were taken from churches. Francois Mitterrand, the president of France at the time, proposed the Grand Louvre proposal in 1981, which called for moving the France Ministry from the Louvre and then restoring the museum. I.M. Pei was given the job of building the glass pyramid in the Louvre's main Cour Napoléon as part of the proposal. There were multiple street-level entrances to the Louvre prior to the pyramid's opening in the late 1980s. The primary entrance to the museum has been located in the tunnel beneath the Pyramid since 1993. However, there have been some bumps in the road in the history of the Pyramid, with Parisians having disagreements over a number of design choices and even the architect's selection. Despite the controversy that has surrounded it, the Louvre Pyramid has grown to be a famous building that represents the museum as a whole.
In 1983, I. M. Pei, a Chinese-American architect, was chosen as the architect of the Louvre Pyramid by Francois Mitterrand, the country's then-president. The structure was designed by Nicolet Chartrand Knoll of Montreal (Pyramid Structure / Design Consultant) and by Rice Francis Ritchie of Paris (Pyramid Structure / Construction Phase). I.M. Pei planned the pyramid so that guests might enter it, make their way down into the roomy foyer and then proceed to the major Louvre buildings. According to records, the primary pyramid is made up of 70 triangular glass segments, 603 rhombus-shaped glass segments, and metal poles that combine 95 tonnes of steel and 105 tonnes of aluminium. The fourth side, which houses the entrance to the pyramid, contains 160 panes in addition to the 171 panes on the other three sides. The pyramid has a base surface area of 1,000 square metres and is approximately 21.6 metres tall. The distinctive glass pyramid base, restaurants, auditorium, exhibition spaces, warehouses, a bookstore, and the museum’s underground entrance were all built by the French construction firm VINCI.
I.M. Pei’s goal was to achieve total transparency in the pyramid glass. The task of developing a crystal clear glass was difficult given the slight bluish or greenish tint that glass naturally has. His goal was realised with the aid of Saint Gobain, who created a brand-new glass from scratch specifically for this project after months of thorough planning and research. The group created this 21.5-millimeter extra-clear laminated glass in just two years. Saint Gobain has produced enough glass to construct two new pyramids just in case any glass pieces ever fell apart, despite the fact that nothing has changed in the past 30 years.