French luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton opens the doors to its magnum opus, the new Samaritaine in Paris. It includes a high-end department store, a 5-star Cheval Blanc hotel with 72 rooms, 96 social housing units, offices and a crèche. The department store was inaugurated on June 23, 2021, in a ceremony attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH.
The luxury shopping destination will feature 600 brands spread over seven floors, and 20,000 square meters of retail floor space. It also features the largest beauty space in continental Europe, 12 exclusive restaurants, and L’Appartement, a private shopping experience amidst artwork.
The much-loved edifice situated in Pont-Neuf, closed in 2005 for safety reasons. LVMH undertook a titanic seven-year restoration project, renovating almost 70,000 square meters. The Samaritaine is located along the Right Bank, across Pont Neuf, the oldest stone bridge in the city, on the banks of the Seine, It is amongst tourist hotspots like Les Halles, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre. Since 1990, the building has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The Samaritaine showcases an architectural heritage, ranging from Art Nouveau to Art Déco. The project is also part of the new vision of sustainable luxury championed by LVMH through its LIFE 360 environmental program. LVMH claims the buildings have been certified to the most demanding environmental standards and limited energy consumption has been achieved using cutting-edge materials and low-consumption lighting.
The Samaritaine is identifiable by the new undulating glass façade on the rue de Rivoli, designed by the Japanese firm Sanaa, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture in 2010. The structure has also retained its original 1905 glass roof with an Eiffel style iron frame.
The new version of the Samaritaine retains the design sensibilities of the original architects, Frantz Jourdain and Henri Sauvage. Other architectural gems on premises are the Art Nouveau enamelled lava stone ceramics, the grand staircase and a majestic 115-meter-long peacock mural designed by Francis Jourdain. “The renaissance of the Samaritaine is a collective success that has mobilized some 3,000 people.” stated Jean-Jacques Guiony, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Samaritaine. Numerous skilled artisans – painters, sculptors, gilders, ironworkers worked on the renovation; at its peak, 800 craftspeople were working together at the site.
Another much-awaited part of the Samaritaine project is Cheval Blanc Paris, LVHM’s first urban hotel, which will welcome its first guests on September 7, 2021. The interiors of its 72 rooms and suites were ideated by renowned American architect and designer, Peter Marino.
“No other department store has such compelling links to the two faces of Paris, one engaged with the historic economic vitality of the recently renovated Les Halles and the other overlooking the Seine, offering the most beautiful view of the world’s most beautiful city.”commented Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH.
The store is to be operated by the world’s leading luxury travel retailer DFS Group, in which LVMH holds a majority stake. LVMH also owns reputed Parisian department store, Le Bon Marché. With the opening of the new Samaritaine, LVMH hopes to target the bulk of the post-pandemic luxury spending, amongst travellers as well as high net individuals. France began to lift restrictions in mid-May but foreign travellers, especially non-Europeans, are still subject to a myriad of restrictions.