Samaritaine reopens after an exceptional renovation, bringing unique enchantment back to Paris
Following a renovation project that was both extraordinary in scope and scrupulously faithful to the history of the iconic property, the new Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf department store once again welcomes the public as of June 23, 2021. The inaugural ceremony today was held in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH.
The titanic restoration and renovation worksite spanning 70,000 square meters in the heart of the French capital mobilized numerous skilled artisans – painters, sculptors, gilders, ironworkers and more. At its peak, 800 craftspeople were working together at the site. Today this mythic department store promises to be the new destination of Parisian elegance. It will draw Parisians and visitors from all over France excited to return to a much-loved place, as well as international travelers eager to enjoy a taste of a distinctive French lifestyle.
The Samaritaine is also an exceptional mixed-use urban project, bringing fresh energy to Paris’ Right Bank. LVMH’s positive impact on the local economy is further demonstrated by close to 3,000 jobs. Each day 1,700 workers will bring to life the DFS department store, ensuring a memorable experience for each guest. The buildings – which meet the most demanding environmental standards – also house a nursery with space for 80 children and 96 public housing units (operated by Paris Habitat). Located between the Louvre and Les Halles, the Samaritaine complex plays a pivotal role in the renaissance of the neighborhood, including a pedestrian square with direct access to the famous Pont Neuf bridge.
Instantly identifiable by the new undulating glass façade on the rue de Rivoli – designed by the Japanese firm Sanaa, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture in 2010 – the Samaritaine has regained its stunning fully glass roof with an Eiffel style iron frame. The breathtaking 37-meter by 20-meter structure was designed in 1907 by architect Frantz Jourdain. Equally sumptuous are the Art Nouveau enameled lava stone ceramics, the monumental staircase and a sublime 115-meter-long peacock mural designed by Francis Jourdain.
“No other department store has such compelling links to the two faces of Paris, one engaged with the historic economic vitality of the recently renovated Les Halles and the other overlooking the Seine, offering the most beautiful view of the world’s most beautiful city. The completion of this project, which both creates jobs and promotes a unique Parisian art de vivre around the world, is also a great source of pride for our Group in France and in Paris. Many of our Maisons were founded in Paris, where we intend to make an active contribution to economic recovery, as well as the worldwide appeal of France,” commented Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH.
“The renaissance of the Samaritaine is a collective success that has mobilized some 3,000 people. We also feel great pride in restoring access to a historical monument that has always been at the forefront of its times and holds a special place in the hearts of Parisians,” stated Jean-Jacques Guiony, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Samaritaine.
Designed and operated by the world’s leading luxury travel retailer DFS Group (in which LVMH holds a majority stake), the “Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf” department store has a bold vision: blend memorable experiences and amazement, authenticity and modernity. Some 600 brands, from iconic names in luxury to exclusive designers, punctuate this singular universe fusing elegance and French art de vivre.
From June 23 visitors will discover, among other things:
- The largest beauty space in continental Europe
- Concept stores “Loulou” and “Rivoli”
- 12 restaurants featuring exclusive concepts
- The “Voyage” space, with 1,000 square meters under the building’s iconic Art Nouveau glass roof, proposing a blend of gastronomy, art and memorable experiences
- L’Appartement, a private shopping experience amidst artwork
- The beauty studio and spa
Another essential part of the Samaritaine project is Cheval Blanc Paris, the Maison’s first urban hotel (facing the Quai du Louvre), which will welcome its first guests on September 7, 2021. The interiors of its 72 rooms and suites were created by renowned American architect and designer Peter Marino. He transformed the Art Déco building overlooking the Seine into a celebration of Parisian art de vivre.
Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf – Key Figures:
- 70,000 square meters entirely renovated or built, including 20,000 square meters of retail floorspace and 15,000 square meters of offices
- 10,000 square meters of roads and sidewalks reclassified, including the creation of a 5,000 square meter public plaza
- 1,700 employees at the department store
- 3,000 people and 280 French companies involved in the building renovation
- 600 brands on 7 levels at Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf department store
- 12 exclusive restaurants at Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf
- 343 screen-printed glass panels for the façade designed by Sanaa (facing rue de Rivoli)
- 16,000 gold leaves to restore the oak railing of the central stairway in the department store
From Art Nouveau to a new vision of luxury
Beyond its innovative contemporary architecture, the new Samaritaine showcases an eclectic and richly historical heritage, from Art Nouveau to Art Déco. At the same time, the project is emblematic of the new vision of sustainable luxury championed by LVMH through its LIFE 360 environmental program. All the buildings have been certified to the most demanding environmental standards* and limit energy consumption through the use of cutting-edge materials and low-consumption lighting.
* Patrimoine Habitat & Environnement Effinergie for the housing, HQE (High Environmental Quality) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Gold” for retail spaces, hotel, nursery and offices and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) “Excellent” rating for retail spaces, hotel and offices.
©Gabriel de la Chapelle
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