When Fashion and Film meet the world of Hospitality a small miracle takes place.
" TODAY, DISCOVERING
NO. 8 RUE JEAN GOUJON IS A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE IN AN UNEXPECTED PLACE THAT COMBINES GENEROSITY, POETRY, LUXURY AND LIGHTNESS, PLEASURE AND AN OFFBEAT VISION. YOU SET OFF ON A JOURNEY WITHIN A JOURNEY, AS IN A FILM.
This is how I discovered this stunning Paris boutique hotel
The townhouse at No. 8 rue Jean Goujon with its fine Haussmann-era façade was built in 1866 for the Duchess of Rivoli, Princess Essling, Mistress of the Household to the Empress Eugénie. Built in 1866, the house had three floors with sheds and stables at the rear. On the death of the duchess, it passed to her son Victor Masséna, Duke of Rivoli, then to her grandson André Prosper Victor Napoléon Masséna who sold it in 1913 to Her Serene Highness Louise de Croye, Princess of Croye Solre. Her heirs sold it on 31 July 1919 to the Maison des Centraux, a limited company formed
for the purpose with funds provided by the alumni of the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures. In 1989, the site of the Maison des Centraliens was extended to 7000m2 by building a hotel complex in the garden. Management of the hotel was entrusted to the Accor hotel group. But Accor’s installation of the Sofitel and Press Club brands at No. 8 Rue Jean Goujon tended to blur the identity of the place and its integral link with the ‘Centraliens’. In 2009, after the departure of the Accor group, the Maison des Centraliens commissioned ODO to renovate the place, cleaning the façade, repairing the roof, bringing the building up to standard, renovating the 40 existing guestrooms, creating 17 new guestrooms and suites designed by Maison Martin Margiela, a smoking room, an 80-cover restaurant, and the bar, which opens onto a wooden terrace, seats 40 for meals in summer and gives onto the private garden. Thus No.8 rue Jean Goujon recovers its ‘Centralien’ identity and a prestigious place on the Paris sce
As witness the façade which has been restored to all its former glory and the First Empire eagle that guards the great staircase, the renovation of the Maison des Centraliens has been done with all due respect for the heritage of the Ecole Centrale and the mansion’s architecture.
Emblematic of the place, the Second Empire reception rooms of the Hôtel d’Essling, on the 2nd floor, have been restored just as they were, the moulding re-gilded with gold leaf by skilled craftsmen. In the basement, 450m2 of reception rooms have been renovated and brought up to technological standard so they are now work spaces that meet all today’s expectations, with WiFi and LED lights embedded in the ceilings.
As the renovation of the façade, the roof repairs and the compliance with safety and handicapped access standards also show, the partners have taken the long view. The building that Centraliens and visitors discover today has been very thoroughly overhauled, ready to confront the 21st century.
Beyond renovation, architect Danièle Damon has really restructured the building. On the ground floor the restaurant is now vast and opens onto the terrace and garden, which lead to the Impasse d’Antin. The big new glass roof bathes it in peaceful light. The kitchen has been reinstalled in the basement and refitted in line will all current standards. On the first, third and fourth floors, the former Centralien premises have been vacated to build the 17 Couture guestrooms and suites, their design entrusted to Maison Martin Margiela on the basis of a competitive tender. They will help to make the Maison a centre of attraction and give it a reputation for daring. The 5th and 6th floors have been fitted out to accommodate the Ecole Centrale alumni association. When asked the designer about " The aim of the game" she replied:
" Maison Martin Margiela wishes to offer a surprising poetic experience, one that cannot be exhausted in a single visit or a single stay. An experience of freedom, a journey within a journey, to be found nowhere else. " MMM
So my friends what are you still waiting for?
Copyright photo : © Martine Houghton For the blind bar Copyright photo : © Copyright photo La Maison Champs Elysées