Cartier Boutique

A rejuvenation cure for the Cartier boutique on Rue de la Paix

It's a tarpaulin, it's a canvas, I mean it's an imposing stage set at rue de la Paix! Cartier's historic boutique plays the leading role in unveiling to the whole of Paris a new covering designed to camouflage the work on its town house. It's hard to miss this extraordinary construction site.

By Chloé Redler

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

Avec son habillage en trompe-l'oeil, Cartier repousse les limites de la scénographie urbaine avec JCDecaux Artvertising.
With its “trompe-l’oeil” trim, Cartier is pushing back the boundaries of urban scenography with JCDecaux Artvertising.

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.

“To keep our loyal customers waiting and as a gift to all lovers of the city, we needed a real artistic and emotional proposal. Thanks to the ephemeral décor proposed by JCDecaux, the magic of the Cartier universe will endure, attracting the eyes and inspiring passers-by.” Corinne Le Foll, managing director at Cartier France.

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.

La boutique de Cartier du 13 rue de la Paix et son habillage en trompe-l'oeil
Night vision of the 500-m² canvas of the Cartier boutique under renovation, beautifully illuminated.

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.

Les trois vitrines animées, éclairées et dissimulées derrière la toile de la boutique Cartier
Accessible to pedestrians, a covered passage hidden behind a meticulously decorated oriental moucharabieh houses three animated and illuminated shop windows.

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.

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