Hermès’s newest emporium has an unassuming facade and a pair of store windows with displays of furniture and flowers that fit neatly into the bourgeois row of shop fronts on the rue de Sèvres in Paris’s 6th arrondissement. They little prepare the visitor for what lies inside: the dazzling renovation of an Art Deco space that once housed a swimming pool, the Piscine Lutetia, next to the fabled and still extant Hotel Lutetia.
In this adaptive reuse converting an indoor swimming pool into a store, Denis Montel, the architect and managing and artistic director of Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure (RDAI), which has designed a number of Hermès stores, created the undulating structures. These intimate yet permeable display pavilions are intended to “inhabit and divide the space” of the 16,000-square-foot main floor, Montel emphasizes, and establish a dialogue with the rectilinear lines of the 1935 pool interior originally designed by Lucien Béguet. The new biomorphic insertions also successfully mediate the scale between the atrium’s volume and the smaller display counters and merchandise.
Since the site is a registered “monument historique” but is not classified, the law allowed some stylistic leeway in its restoration.
Hermès Rive Gauche´s exterior
Read the full article by Erich Theophile and Steven Yee
All pictures from http://archrecord.construction.com/