July 22, 2013

Memo from Paris: People Are Talking About

The delightful Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, installed by the brothers themselves, bears the signature stamp of their witty and poetic work. It’s a hands-on show, delineated by their modular room dividers, displaying both office and home furnishings, much of which visitors can freely sit on, lie in and otherwise test. (Until Sept 1). The museum has also just put online the archives of Roger Tallon (1919–2011), donated to the museum by the multifaceted industrial designer who wanted his research made available to all. 

The future of landmark department store La Samaritaine, closed since 2005, is a little less in doubt, now that owner LVMH has secured a building permit for the 72-room Paris flagship of the conglomerate’s luxury Hôtel Cheval Blanc chain, which will occupy part of Samaritaine’s four-building complex. Architect Edouard François has been tapped to design the hotel, while the overall renovation project—to include shops, offices, a day-care nursery and low-income housing—will be handled by Sanaa, the Japanese architects of the Louvre’s annex in Lens.

International architects Kohn Pederson Fox Associates have just broken ground for France’s new Justice Ministry building, in the new Parc du Millénaire development on the northern edge of the city’s 19th arrondissement. The new building will group together divisions of the ministry now dispersed in several locations, but the headquarters, and the Minister’s own offices, will remain in their traditional location since the 18th century—the Hôtel de Bourvallais, a splendid private mansion, built in 1699, in the historic and prestigious Place Vendôme.

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