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High-end shopping in a swimming-pool!

June 6, 2012
by

As you walk by #17 of the rue de Sèvres in the heart of the Saint-Germain des Prés district, you’ll get to see right next to the Lutetia Palace the façade of a Hermès boutique. Even if you are on a budget and don’t want to indulge yourself with a  Hermès “Carré”, the brand’s famous silk scarf, or a delicate bottle of fragrance, it would be a pity not to enter this huge building which used to be a public swimming-pool, commonly known as “Piscine Lutetia” because of its proximity to the eponymous Palace.

The Piscine Lutetia first opened in 1931. It closed in 1970 and was listed as a Historic Monument (the French equivalent for Heritage List) in 2005. Hermès acquired the prestigious building in 2009 and officially opened the store in November 2010 after 11 months of renovation. French architect Denis Montel was in charge of the project. His goal was to bring back to life this mythic place by preserving and recycling as much as possible the initial materials. For instance, the tiles all come from the pool’s original mosaic. If the place has been totally renovated, the pool itself has been preserved.

The store is simply breathtaking. With a surface of more than 1.500 square meters, the volume is immense and gives an overall feeling of space and harmony. The boutique is a tribute to fashion, architecture and Art Nouveau. A huge glass ceiling brings a bright and natural light into the pool. The basin itself is divided into several sections dedicated to dresses, suits or jewels. Each part is marked by a huge hut made of ash wood, shaped like a raindrop or a birdnest depending on who you ask, that brings a visual impression of lightness and movement.

Hermès’ ambition is to make the place a worldwide flagship store for its international clientele and a physical incarnation of the brand’s core values of tradition, savoir-faire and creation. The place is therefore more a concept-store than just a simple boutique. It is home to “Baptiste” a flower shop, “Le Plongeoir”, a teahouse and “Actes Sud”, a library dedicated to fashion.

No doubt that this boutique is the most original and innovative of the 235 Hermès stores, much to the delight of fashionistas and architecture buffs!

Hermès

17, rue de Sèvres

75006 Paris

+33 (1) 42 22 80 83

Open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am to 7pm

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2012 11:24 am

    Great and interestin article. Thanks for mentioning opening hours and days. It was pretty useful to us.

    • June 17, 2012 10:52 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! The place is pretty stunning, I love it!

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