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Jean-Michel Wilmotte says it was 'imperative' to preserve the identity of L’Hôtel Lutetia in its renovation

by Luke Cloherty | 18 Jul 2018

Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the architect behind the renovation of L’Hôtel Lutetia, Paris has said that in redesigning the famous Left Bank hotel it was “imperative to preserve and enhance its identity”.

The hotel was originally built in 1910 by Le Bon Marché creators the Boucicaut family to accompany that department store. It closed in April 2014 to begin its renovation process after Wilmotte had won the competition to redesign it.

The total number of rooms has dropped from 233 to 184 as Wilmotte has “totally remodelled the space layout”. The hotel now has 47 suites and seven signature suites.

On the ground floor, Wilmotte and his team have built an open-air garden for the “daylight it generates” as well as the “outdoor space it creates”, according to the architect.

However, most of the changes made have been far more subtle and have exposed original elements. For instance, the team scraped away dozens of layers of paint and came across “high quality” frescoes. They decided to clear and scrape them and they can now be found fully restored. The team also found a series of friezes and bas-reliefs in the lobby and highlighted them.

Wilmotte has redesigned the interior to keep a sense of the Art Nouveau/Art Deco crossover period in which the hotel was originally conceived, but has looked to “bring in the 21st Century” to the interior’s aesthetic.

Many of the hotel’s interiors were custom designed – including glass sconces, floor and wall treatments, door handles, wash basins, faucets and lighting fixtures.

Every piece of technology in the rooms is fully integrated and can be managed by a dashboard outside the rooms.

Wilmotte said of the whole renovation process: “A new life is ready to unfold here, and it is good to see all these layers coming into view. From Madame Boucicaut to tomorrow, including General de Gaulle, César, Arman, Yves Saint-Laurent, Sonia Rykiel and all those who have spent time in this place and have left their imprint. It is now up to us to generate the next strata.”

Jean-Michel Wilmotte  L’Hôtel Lutetia  Paris  Le Bon Marché 
Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the architect behind the renovation of L’Hôtel Lutetia, Paris has said that in redesigning the famous Left Bank hotel it was “imperative to preserve and enhance its identity”. The hotel was originally built in 1910 by Le Bon Marché creators the Boucicaut family to accompany that department store. It closed in April 2014 to begin its renovation process after Wilmotte had won the competition to redesign it. The
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Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the architect behind the renovation of L’Hôtel Lutetia, Paris has said it was “imperative to preserve and enhance its identity”.
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