Denis Montel and Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure (RDAI), the french agency that designed all the Hermès stores worldwide, realised this new design for the Hermès store Rive Gauche in Paris, France. This unique and unexpected concept is based on contrasts and complementarities being considered in the same time a discrete but radical intervention inside a building that once housed the oldest parisian swimming pool, the Piscine Lutétia, next to the fabled and still extant Hotel Lutetia. The art deco building built in 1935, was listed as a historic monument in 2005. Converting an indoor swimming pool into a store I think it wasn’t an easy thing but as you can see the results speak for themselves. Mosaics composed of ceramic and glass tiles in different dimensions and colors constitute a key surviving historic feature of the interior. RDAI restored many of the mosaics and designed new ones for certain areas. They cover the pool by means of concrete composite floor slab supported by a light structure. The mosaic pattern covering the pool cavity was designed to evoke the movement of waves and shimmering water. By using graduated tones they want to create effects of depth accentuated by the play of light. The success of this two-year renovation and restoration project is consonant with the carefully managed Hermès brand itself — a mix of tradition, contemporary craftsmanship, and an ever-evolving definition of luxury.
Photo source: @ Michel Denance