Paris Hotel - Is It Old or New?

Irwin Weiner ASID - I wanted to share a few photos that I snapped during a recent shopping trip to Paris with a client. I came across this building near the Arc de Triomphe, just off the Champs-Elysees. It's the new hotel Fouquet's Barrière, on the corner of rue Quentin Bauchard and Rue Vernet.

The building is - at first glance - a typical neoclassical French building that is now a hotel. I loved it because the renovation respected the old architecture, but updated it with a twist.

The building appears to take the same moldings and details of the original old building and recasts them in stainless steel and poured concrete, then punctures the exterior facade with some asymmetrically placed rectangular sheet glass windows.

But here's the Big Surprise: the building's facade is brand new (well, 2006 newish)! Architect Edouard Francois designed a cast concrete "3-D wallpaper" for the walls of the hotel, arranged the traditional designs and flow in different intersecting panels, and hung the windows on it like pictures on a wall. Marvelous.

This building represents - for me - theater, change, and slyly winking at the past while reinventing it.


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