Thursday, December 18, 2014

Inside the Place Vendome, Paris

My favorite square in Paris is without a doubt the Place Vendome.  I even have a painting of it in my bedroom by Moura Chabor!
The storied square is actually 26 separate buildings with a unified front designed by Mansart.   Based on the success of the earlier Place des Vosges in the Marais (a similar concept of different buildings looking as one),  it was fully complete by 1720.
The Hotel Ritz, which occupies # 15 ( and possibly 17? ), is currently under renovation and is covered by the scaffolding seen above. This also includes a full restoration of the column in the center of the square originally erected by Napoleon in 1810.
 To the right of the scaffolding you can see what the original mansion fronts look like.
 This corner of the square is still open so you can see the original intent.
Above each archway is a different face -this guy looks a bit constipated!  Notice the lovely ironwork on the guard between houses.
But what lies behind these grand facades? Hotels and businesses of course but at one time they were all private homes.  Go through the vaulted archways and you still find very residential scaled facades.
This little courtyard above would make the perfect Paris pied a terre!
This very grand staircase leads one up into the buildings from the porte cochere.
All of this 'stone' is actually plaster scored and painted to resemble the stone the facades are built of. This is outdoor space but at the same time protected so it wears well.
And a very blurry picture looking into one of these historic building's stair - whats not to like?!


Mark Ruffner said...

Hi, Stefan,

That's a pretty spectacular temporary cover they've put around the needle's scaffolding!

I'm starting to see a theme on your blog — you're ready to create a handsome coffee table book — "Best Balustrades of the World!" I'd be your first customer.

Karena Albert said...

Stefan, of course I am still a bit envious of your trip to Paris at the holidays! A dream for me yet I can enjoy all of your gorgeous images!

The grand staircase...ahhh!

The Arts by Karena

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Mark -I do like my hardware and details!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

karena so glad you're enjoying!

My Notting Hill said...

Fun to see a peak beyond the gate. Imagine a tour of all those buildings? They should do it for a charity event. Looks like your trip was wonderful!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

MNH that would be AMAZING! I can't even imagine the security though with all of the jewelry companies!

Windlost said...

I always feel so curious about the Place Vendome, with all its hidden luxurious spaces, and I always feel entirely out of place and underdressed. I never go in the shops but could walk around it for hours...
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. I love Paris at Christmas, having been there as a student for two years. Are you still there? How lovely!! Merry merry Christmas and glad you got yourself some gifts.
P.S. I didn't know Astier de Villatte has a second floor!
xo Terri

The Down East Dilettante said...

What's not to like indeed? Nothing more elegant and rational than 18th century French architecture. What a treat to have this peek behind the facades

David Hathcock said...

Stefan, I love your pictures of Place Vendome! When studying in Paris in 2009 I had only ever strolled the sidewalks of the square and never actually ventured into one of the courtyards. Thanks for sharing these glimpses!

You really must look into the book Court and Garden by Michael Dennis as an addition to your own library. He focuses on the amazingly irregular yet ordered spatial arrangements of the private homes found behind the unified facades of Place Vendome. It's so uniquely French and undeniably gorgeous!