Though the spring design happenings – from Maison&Objet to ParisDéco Off – have been postponed, with the former now slated for September and the latter leaping directly to next January – there are still projects in progress in Paris. Parisian companies continue to launch new collections, architects keep on building striking works to boost the city’s international character, and trade fairs are promoting initiatives to keep the spotlight on the sector and its protagonists.
Product focus in the Digital Days
Maison&Objet takes stock of this first part of 2021 by finding a valid alternative to the physical event (which had been scheduled for March), with an entirely digital solution on the platform MOM: special previews of collections and brands will be presented in the framework of Digital Days from 27 January to 8 March; eight different themes – each interpreted over a span of three days – trace a virtual path through various interior concepts (from trendy decor to office spaces, outdoor to premium design, and more). Along with the highlights produced in virtual showrooms, the initiative calls for selections made by market experts, talks and an interesting Live Chat to help professionals with their networking.
Made in Paris
The variegated panorama of French éditeurs always brings new developments. Pierre Fray launches the 2021 collection titled Joie de vivre, relying on the typical codes of Provence: the result is a line of fabrics inspired by folk traditions and the works of artists from the 1950s, suggesting the luminous landscapes of the French Riviera. Puenat celebrates 140 years of expertise by displaying exclusive pieces in its Paris gallery, items that have contributed to the success of the maison (reinterpreted in terms of details or finishes, like the iconic Uto Armchair designed by Francois Champsaur), along with new productions and collaborations (as in the cases of Ornella Mei and Helene Paoli). Speaking of celebrations, the festivities for the 60th anniversary of Roche Bobois continue, including a new collection created by Joana Vasconcelos: Bombom.
Design Destination: Molteni&C | Dada
A new destination among the many international design showcases at Saint-Germain-des-Prés (already the home of brands like Meridiani, Cassina, Boffi, Marazzi, Kartell, Cappellini, Knoll, Lago, amongst many others, and of large retailers like Silvera, the partner in the city for Poliform and Baxter). Gruppo Molteni is opening a new showroom, at 22 Rue de Saints Pères, designed by the firm’s art director Vincent Van Duysen. The new flagship store – 550 sqm with seven windows – hosts the collections of the brands Molteni&C and Dada, thus completing the group’s offerings in Paris, which began to take for with the historic Unifor showroom at Rue des Saints Pères 6, which was renovated in 2019. For the opening, the store presents a series of works by contemporary artists, taking part in the project The Collector’s House, curated by Caroline Corbetta.
New project horizons
Some completed, some in progress, the projects now enhancing the urban scene in Paris become a concrete representation of the creative dynamism of the metropolis.
In the area of interior design, the contemporary touch of the duo Neri&Hu has been applied to the new Papi restaurant in the Grands Boulevards district of the 9th arrondissement, while the more decorative approach of Vudafieri-Saverino Partners can be seen at the new Delvaux boutique on Rue Saint Honoré.
On the architectural front, one stand-out is the new headquarters of Le Monde designed by the firm Snøhetta, in the 13th arrondissement: over 22,000 sqm for the six editorial staffs of the group, which stand out through a dynamic semi-transparent façade wrapped by a large plaza open to the public, an expression of openness of the building to the surrounding context. During the course of the year, we can look forward to the opening of the Samaritaine department store (postponed from 2020), after its complete restyling by the Japanese architecture firm SANAA, and of La Caserne, the old fire station that has been converted as the largest sustainable fashion hub in Europe: 4000 sqm for ateliers, showrooms, multifunctional spaces and restaurants.