24th April 2019 | The list
G.A recently had the opportunity to produce the concept for a new luxury hotel in the centre of Paris, focusing on the guestrooms and a large roof terrace restaurant and bar. The building, which had previously been the first ever telephone exchange in France, was unique in that it was one storey higher than the rest of the buildings in the area, allowing for an unobstructed and previously unseen view across the city from the hotel’s rooftop.
The overall themes centred around the history of craftmanship and exquisite detailing that is renowned to the French capital. The intention was to incorporate traditional techniques and materials, such as French wrought iron, into the design wherever possible. This idea was further extended to Haute Couture fashion, and the famed patisseries, where the same attention to detail is applied to the edible creations that fill the shop windows in Paris.
For the roof terrace, G.A created a series of white models which allowed the design team to get an overview of the planning and explore the space fully. The client wanted to ensure that the whole terrace was utilised and for the space to be flexible to maximise the entertaining opportunities. In addition to the restaurant and bar – which both offer indoor and outdoor seating – the roof top features space for a DJ and dancefloor plus an outdoor cinema, another ode to the history of France, being the birthplace of cinema.
The white models helped the designers fully understand the varying levels and both the opportunities and limitations of the space, whilst helping to communicate the concept of the spatial planning to the Client. This was particularly true for the large staircase, designed with additional smaller steps which double up as seats, both anticipating and encouraging the behaviour of the guests in order to create a buzzy and relaxed venue.
Another impressive feature of the hotel building is its proximity to the Eiffel Tower and the prime views that guests would be afforded – to maximise these views, the water feature and seating in front have been kept low-level.
Echoing the landmark in the new design, large metal arches inside the restaurant and bar also relate to the rhythm of the building, whilst lighting has been designed to mirror the shape of the Eiffel Tower, with each pendant’s curve similar to the base as spun 180 degrees. The many lights that make up each chandelier also acts as a reference to Paris being the ‘City of Lights’. Outside, an original air raid siren that was discovered has been moved and repurposed as a sculptural piece.
The chic soft grey scheme for the guestrooms is elevated through the use of French bronze detailing and playful pops of colour inspired by the tantalising boxes of Macarons that can be seen in the windows of nearby patisseries. Walls and shelves are adorned with artwork with the theme, ‘faces of Paris’ and combine classical art references alongside contemporary figures, to give the rooms a timeless yet iconic quality.