If you are not able to stroll in the Parisian shops, I invite you to walk down the streets of the capital. This is a banal thing for a native Parisian, but it quickly becomes an exciting activity when you look up. As a small aside, I remember a comment from a former History-Geography teacher in school – we will call her Madame G – who implored us, if we did not look at our feet while walking, to look up and admire the details of each building in the city. I have always remembered this wise advice – it was better to listen to her – because it is not uncommon to come across unexpected architectural scenes that you have no idea of.
Boutique Cartier 13 Paix, a large-scale project
At the moment, at 13 rue de la Paix, a rather atypical scenario is unfolding. The architects have thought big, very big, very very big. During the renovation, the luxury house did not simply close its doors. With the help of JCDecaux Artvertising, it has masterfully orchestrated the dressing up of its emblematic town house to hide the construction site from the eyes of pedestrians. Half hidden, because this urban scenography – grandiose it must be said – offers passers-by a unique experience. A clever move from Cartier, which strives to maintain the link between itself and its customers, whatever the cost.
Cartier Boutique, a “trompe-l’oeil” renovation
Wishing to extend the customer experience ever further – and here ever higher – Cartier called on the services of the JCDecaux workshops to design its major project. Architects, artists, scenographers, engineers, mountaineers, model makers, sculptors, ironworkers, painters and electricians – a veritable arsenal with one hundred people from all trades was mobilized for a year.
Cartier’s only watchword was to remain faithful to the details of the original building’s historic façade. This was achieved with a remarkable proposal by the urban scenographer. A canvas was entirely covered with wooden frames painted in black delimiting the twenty-eight windows of the fictitious building, three animated and illuminated shop windows visible in a covered passageway accessible to passers-by, as well as an oriental moucharabieh-style claustra, a delicately decorated grid allowing people to see without being seen. The ultimate in panther chic.
A technical feat in detail
- A canvas of more than 500-m² covering the covered passage;
- 28 custom-made decorative windows, each with a stone-coloured frame, a balcony, a gilded steel “monogram” railing and a red blind in the brand’s colours;
- 3 rows of cornices in keeping with the façade;
- More than 400-m² of marble-like panels to reproduce the shop in “trompe-l’oeil”;
- 3 animated and illuminated decorative windows;
- More than 50 handmade decorative elements including top columns, crests, bottom columns, logos and other expressive surfaces;
- A row of period lanterns to enhance the historical immersion;
- 4 backlit boxes to orientate the brand’s customers at night;
- The complete reproduction of the iconic door of 13 Rue de la Paix with its numerous details;
- Nearly 150m of wooden frames painted black to enhance the palisade.