At Printemps Haussmann, elegance at its peak

By Sophie Abriat

Posted today at 3:54 p.m., updated at 4:25 p.m.

On August 30, 2021, in the Pont d'Argent, at Printemps Haussmann, in Paris, presentation furniture to display the products on sale.

Even under the hazy sky on this September morning, the view is breathtaking. From here, Paris seems close at hand: the Opéra Garnier, the Pantheon, the Eiffel Tower, the dome of the Invalides, slightly shrouded in fog. In a few days, this panoramic terrace, which overlooks Printemps Haussmann’s “store number 2” dedicated to the world of Women, will be open to the public for the first time.

As the craftsmen put the finishing touches to the work, Ion Metulesco, Printemps’s architecture, engineering and maintenance director, is seething with impatience to see visitors take possession of the premises. ” We had never been able to see the freestone corner rotundas so close, we have the impression that we can touch them ! Approach, come and see, we can distinguish every detail: the mascarons in the shape of a woman’s head, the mosaics and the gilding so characteristic. We raise our heads a little and admire their dome crowned with lanterns in the shape of a belvedere “, he enthuses.

Add or hide nothing

To offer such a panorama, we had to free this 200 m rooftop2 hitherto encumbered with technical equipment which had gradually colonized the space. They are now camouflaged in a “crown” that wraps around the famous Binet dome, named after its architect, who, with his twin, covers the roof. Its interior layout was also part of this vast rehabilitation project.

On the left, Ion Metulesco, director of architecture, engineering and maintenance of Printemps, on the panoramic terrace.  On the right, the Silver Bridge and its carpet, the flowery and bluish patterns of which have been revisited by the artist Romain Froquet.

In total, 1,300 m2 glass, zinc and Eiffel beams which will be open to the public on September 22 – a masterful space called “7e Ciel ”, entirely devoted to circular fashion (eco-responsible), which combines vintage clothing or clothing from upcycling, second-hand decorative objects and organic and vegan cosmetics. To attract customers accustomed to bargain hunting and reselling online, Printemps has gone out of its way and has mainly focused on the heritage dimension of the place.

“The 3,000 stained-glass windows in the Binet dome were dismantled during World War II to protect them from bombing and placed as a precaution in a warehouse which, ironically, burned down. »Xavier Gaudemet, department store project manager

Everything about this renovation project, which lasted nine months and mobilized 170 artisans, aims to show that Printemps is a place steeped in history. The scene is set: allow customers to do their shopping in a ” modern commerce cathedral », As Emile Zola put it in To the happiness of the ladies, far from a disembodied click on e-shop, and everything is good to remind him. A watchword guided the teams: leave the marks of time intact, without especially adding or hiding anything. ” It’s a bias, we bet on the authentic, the real “, argues Ion Metulesco.

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