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Old May 26th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Paris La Samaritaine - Department Store to Hotel

Much-loved Paris shopping shrine to become hotel


Source : http://www.pbase.com/francist/image/17040291

PARIS, May 20 (Reuters) - Say "La Samaritaine" in this city and shopping-mad Parisians will wax nostalgic about a beloved department store which once boasted it had "everything".

Now, the monument to retail therapy on the right bank of the Seine which has been closed since 2005, is set to undergo a three-year, 450 million euro ($641.9 million) redesign that will transform it into a luxury hotel, with adjacent buildings housing offices, public apartments, and of course, shops.

With an Art Deco facade and its name proudly displayed in big block letters, La Samaritaine was the most egalitarian of the "grand magasins," or opulent department stores in the French capital, featuring a huge variety of goods for sale from flowers and bathing suits, to candies and hats.

Its doors closed in 2005, however, after the building fell afoul of safety codes and years of wrangling ensued between its current owner, luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH, the city of Paris and the heirs to La Samaritaine's founders.

But the wrangling appears over, the new project has received the green light and construction should begin in early 2012, with a completion date targeted for mid-2014.

Despite the blueprint that promises to restore a Paris landmark building to its full glory, many feel a pang that it will no longer house France's most famous department store.

"It's over, and it's really too bad because you could find everything there," said 88-year-old Genevieve Cotty, who remembers visiting the store with her grandparents before World War II. "They had flowers, tombstones, hardware, furniture. It was really historic."

Its name taken from the water pump at the Pont Neuf in the time of Henry IV, La Samaritaine sits on some of the most prestigious real estate in Paris, close to both the Louvre and Notre Dame and fronting the Seine.

Shoppers remember the young bellboys at the top of every escalator landing announcing what could be found on every floor, the sugared violet candies popular with children, and the large street windows which were lit up and animated every Christmas.

Tourists would flock to La Samaritaine, take the elevator to the top floor and climb a narrow stairway to the roof, for some of the best views across the Paris skyline.

And any French shopper rich and poor could find something to buy at La Samaritaine, which offered goods at a range of prices.

"There's nothing to compare with the supermarkets of today, it's just not the same," said Cotty, whose mother bought new furniture at the store after their home was bombed in the war.

LARGEST-EVER PROJECT

The 70,000-sq metre (753,470-sq feet) project is comprised of not only the historic La Samaritaine building, but three adjacent properties, which will house offices, shops, some 95 apartments and a nursery.

Some 2,500 jobs will be created, LVMH said.

It is the largest privately funded construction project ever undertaken in Paris, according to LVMH finance chief Jean-Jacques Guiony.

An earlier plan for the project had been rejected by the city of Paris for what it deemed insufficient public housing.

The historic building that fronts the Seine will be renovated and turned into a luxury hotel, "Cheval Blanc" (White Horse), but its facade will remain unchanged. The hotel will offer about 80 rooms and suites.

For the building behind the hotel, Japanese architecture firm Sanaa, which worked on the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, envisions an undulating glass wall with silk screens covering the offices within.

"This project will be the symbol of a continuity between the history of Parisians and the modern world," said Guiony.

($1=.7010 Euro)
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Old May 26th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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Old May 26th, 2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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looks cool

a dept store in portland became a hotel - well it was a 9 level store they kep the bottom 4 floors for the store and made the top floors into a hotel
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Old May 28th, 2011, 04:47 AM   #4
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I can't believe Mairie de Paris will permit to destroy 80% of the block on Rue de Rivoli.
It's crazy!!!

What do parisians think about it?


the beauty of Paris is its homogenousty, with this sh.. they are ruining the whole promenade of Rue de Rivoli!

They already did something really stupid with Ministry Of Culture, this is even worse!
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Old May 28th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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Paris isn't a museum, it is a city.
I prefer having a new building designed by SANAA than a common and not very beautiful old building.

The building that will be destroyed.


The two neighboring buildings show the the street is not is that homegenous, These are the two most beautiful buildings of the street.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
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The building that will be destroyed.
this is a crime!

I know SCC forumers from Paris are obsessed with curtain wall and skyscrapers, but destroying these buildings is just nonsense, they should just recover the first floor of these buildings instead of doing a random cw building in Rue de Rivoli.

It's crazy!

is there any social mouvement against it?
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Old June 1st, 2011, 09:15 PM   #7
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The plan is to keep two of the southernmost buildings in the Samaritaine Complexfor the hotel and apartments and demolish the northernmost buildings for a replacement.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:45 AM   #8
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Old June 4th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #9
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wow!
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Old June 4th, 2011, 05:51 AM   #10
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I took a picture of the La Samariatain when I was in Paris a few weeks ago. I didn't even know what it was, but from across the bridge I thought it was a magnificent building and had to take a picture!

If all the beautiful haussmannian buildings were replaced with modern buildings (in the name of progress), then Paris wouldn't look like Paris...it'd look like any other modern city in the world. What makes paris unique is its beautiful historic center. I guess it's hard for people who live in 1800s houses their whole lives and want more modern buildings to see this perspective lol!!! If the new buildings in this complex look amazing and somehow fit into the neighborhood, I wouldn't mind them.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #11
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Normally I wouldn't support demolition of any Haussmanian building/structure in Paris... unless they had a sufficient-looking replacement. Have there been any Haussmanian buildings torn down in the 20th/21st centuries?
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Old June 4th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #12
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exeption afer exeption Paris will be gone.

plus, this demolition is in one of main axes of the city, Rue de Rivoli.
it's crazy!

it seems also in France there's corruption, when the richest guy in the country wants to destroy heritage politicians "allow" it.

Bernard Arnault, the richest French, and 4th richer person in the world can do what he wants in Paris. Tons of exeptions for his museum in Jardin d'Acclimatation (protected site), and this demolition permits.

Paris is hims.

Shame on Delanoe.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #13
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What a shame...
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Old June 5th, 2011, 10:27 PM   #14
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LVMH rules on France. Paris is looking still at it. The alleged 2500 work places is used as excuse to put under the old building without much attention for the others interventions on others buildings in the surroundings to accomplish the haul project

Foreigners seems to be interested in the action more then parisians, after all, 2500 new jobs are more interesting then an old look alike common building. Imagine if Mr B.A. decides to grow his hotels ideals, who´s going to be next target, since downtown Paris don´t have a single open lot space available? Maybe underground, door to door to louvre?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #15
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Well, things should be put in perspective. It's not the classical well-known Samaritaine blocks which are meant to be destroyed but only an extra block which was only bought later by the department store and wasn't meant to be a store in the first place. Furthermore, it's a rather common early 20th century building as could be found even in some suburbs of Paris.

This being said, it's indeed exceptionnal to fully destroy a pre-ww1 building in Paris. I don't have many example in mind. On the other side, it's very common to keep facades and destroy everything behind. That's actually this process which kept inner Paris as a competitive area for business.

As such, the real question isn't about destroying an outdated building or not... but rather if the facade deserves to be kept or not. We can't really judge the project from the renderings but objectively speaking, it wouldn't be too hard to beat the former building in terms of quality.

As for the fact Paris is a corrupted place, well... corruption probably exists here (as anywhere) but considering how tough regulations are in the centre of Paris, it would be very, very hard to bypass them simply in buying people. If the facades are meant to be destroyed, that means they aren't protected in the first place.

As for the museum of modern Art which is currently built in the Bois de Boulogne, it replaces a former bowling building. It's not reducing the wooded area of the place. Furthermore, I would even add it's a major upgrade to the quality of the area which is known for prostitution and drug.

It's by the way very amusing to see people assuming that "LVMH rules on France" as if we were talking about Russian oligarchs in Moscow. At the opposite, France is generally criticized for its heavy regulations.

Last edited by Clery; June 5th, 2011 at 11:13 PM.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 03:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farodkhaledmossad View Post
...

Foreigners seems to be interested in the action more then parisians, after all, 2500 new jobs are more interesting then an old look alike common building. Imagine if Mr B.A. decides to grow his hotels ideals, who´s going to be next target, since downtown Paris don´t have a single open lot space available? Maybe underground, door to door to louvre?
Progress and renovation are needed, my main point was about projects and concessions already made to achieve LVMH needs, despite of how heavy regulations are, period. Not retoric or comparisons at all.
The less the city deserves is to be compared on that level, Mr Clery. Now we have a parisian opinion, a great one.

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Well, things should be put in perspective....[edit]

It's by the way very amusing to see people assuming that "LVMH rules on France" as if we were talking about Russian oligarchs in Moscow. At the opposite, France is generally criticized for its heavy regulations.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #17
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Paris gives me more and more reasons to dislike it. The city is outselling its identity.

It's a crime to tear down those historical buildings! People, stop those mindless idiots! Now!
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Old August 18th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #18
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This is criminal.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #19
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Wow I didn’t expect that such words would be used to qualify the replacement of a building that has thousands of lookalikes. Especially considering that this same building is part of a redevelopment project led by a man who had little respect for Paris’s heritage. Thanks to Haussmann’s works, Paris sure has a unique look but wandering along its boulevards is also quite a boring experience architecturally-wise. Haussmannian buildings aren’t some untouchable historical monuments and the replacement of one of them in the centre of a 10-million city is a non-event IMO.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t support the destruction of haussmannian buildings on, say, avenue de l’Opera.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 10:15 PM   #20
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I can't believe they are allowing this to happen!
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