Located on the site of the old Empire Theatre, this realisation reinterprets the architectural codes of the haussmannien model, traditionally offering a continuous built façade the length of the streets.
For Christian de Portzamparc, there were several issues to address, create a landmark building identifiable the length of the Avenue, open the heart of the island by creating a wide opening onto the Avenue allowing the resurrection of the Salle Wagram until now invisible, and allow the creation of a garden in the heart of island. The length of this avenue, very linear, rigid, offering no perceptible depth and where the facades align very flat, smooth, it was interesting to create some animation. Thus the theme of the bay windows, to open the views from the rooms to the Place des Ternes and the Arc de Triomphe. These bay windows create ripples and are made up of a façade of large monoblock curved glass sheets; a feat of engineering in its manufacture; irregular convex and concave curves form a plait which echoes the undulating typology of I’Hôtel Céramique by Lavirotte opposite. There is equally in the geometry of this facade a will to break with the monotony of this avenue and to provide a visual comfort for the occupants. Thus, the act of creating undulations provides the rooms views towards the Arc de Triomphe on one side and to the other side Ternes, whilst remaining within the building line.
This work with glass, which started with the LVMH Tower in New York (1995-1999, architect: Christian de Portzamparc), makes it possible to find a texture principle using sandblasting that allows one to see out without being seen or at least limits the view from the outside to the inside to preserve privacy. This process, created from printing, comes from a basic principle: the more a facade is white the less it reflects the environment.
The problem with glass is to offer some matter because by nature it is transparent and reflective so intangible. The act of bleaching lends a tangebility. The lineage employed in this screen printing system fades from dense at the bottom and creates a rhythm to the facade.
The undulation of the facade, the bleaching of the glass, offer the building its own formal autonomy and give it a material force that stands out singularly from the very mineral environment of the Haussmannian buildings.
The ground floor of the hotel hosts three double height boutiques, giving them a real presence on the same scale as the boulevard.
The plan of the hotel at an angle allows good views and light in all rooms at the back.
The hotel lobby is accessed under the porch.
The decoration and interior of the hotel (rooms, reception, restaurant, etc.) have not been entrusted to Christian de Portzamparc.
Location: 39 Avenue de Wagram, Paris, France
Architect: Christian de Portzamparc
Collaborators: Bruno Durbecq and Bertrand Beau , Daniel Romeo, Urban Stirnberg, Alessandro Spitilli, Renaud Magnaval, Céline Barda, Chantal Crouan
Design plans: Isabelle Ragot, Odile Pornin
Landscape: Regis Guignard (Méristème)
Interior Design: ERA (design), STUDIOS DESSEINS (execution)
Project Year: 2003-2009
Surfaces: 8500 sqm / Garden: 450 sqm
Height of windows on façade: 2,51 m
Width of windows: 3,6 m (Length of curve 4,1 m)