Denis Montel's new 'nest' for Hermès in Paris

Fluid, sweet and involving forms in the former Art Nouveau swimming pool of the Lutetia Hotel

by Malcolm Clark
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Denis Montel, artistic director of the agency Rena Dumas Architecture Interieure (RDAI), who have been designing Hermès Boutiques and Houses since 1978, has designed the Hermès Rive Gauche Paris project within the former Art Nouveau style swimming pool in the Lutetia Hotel, a national monument since 2005.

Here, amongst columns, mosaic floors and 1930's wrought iron railings, Montel has created lattice ash wood 'cocoons' containing elements of the Home collection, re-editions of Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941) pieces characterised by luxury and simplicity.

Fluid, flexible and lightweight forms which lead to free movement like that of a body in the water. On the ground floor, the walls form long undulating curves which change shape to adapt to display windows and shelves or become shaped benches.

The staircase connecting the ground floor with the first floor winds its way like a sloping belt in a natural movement like a waterfall.

A decisive architectural intervention which is at the same time sweet and involving.

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    Hermès Rive Gauche 83

    Hermès Rive Gauche

    Paris / France / 2010