Architect Dominique Perrault transforms La Poste du Louvre into an open urban complex

The renewed La Poste du Louvre recently opened its doors after years of major restructuring. Located in the heart of the French capital, this historic building is the latest in a series of Parisian monuments to undergo a thorough refurbishment, reviving the City of Lights along the way. None other than French star architect Dominique Perrault was responsible for the realisation of this substantial project.

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VILLAS decoration Dominique Perrault
© DPA

An acclaimed career as an architect in France and abroad

The choice of Dominque Perrault as the architect for this restructuring hardly comes as a surprise, as he has been an influential name on the international architecture scene for many decades. His achievements include the Olympic swimming pool and velodrome in Berlin and the Olympic tennis stadium in Madrid, but one of his most iconic designs is the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, which ranks among the most important libraries in the world. Perrault devised a 60,000 square meters design for the renowned library, consisting of four L-shaped rectangles that represent open books. This realization earned him the silver medal for town planning in 1990.

The towers of the European Court of Justice: a contemporary monument

Another feather in Perrault’s cap is his expansion of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which involved a complete redesign of the existing complex. The aim of this extensive project was not only to further expand the Court, but also to elevate its allure. Perrault achieved this effect by prominently integrating the colour gold into both the exterior and interior of the buildings. In addition, a substantial orthogonal ring was built around the old constructions, which gives room to numerous office spaces.

VILLAS decoration Dominique Perrault

DPA

VILLAS decoration Dominique Perrault

DPA

One of the most important contemporary buildings in Paris

One of Perrault’s most recent achievements is the restructuring of the historic La Poste du Louvre, originally designed by architect Julien Gaudet and constructed between 1878 and 1888. The building is fashioned in Haussmann style and is located in Paris’ first arrondissement, where it stands shoulder to shoulder with several other historic gems that have recently undergone a thorough refurbishment. La Poste du Louvre is situated at a stone’s throw from Samaritaine, the well-known shopping mecca in Art Nouveau style that reopened its doors in June 2021, after a seventeen-year renovation by Japanese architects SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates). The nearby nineteenth-century Bourse de Commerce, which nowadays houses the extensive art collection of Kering CEO François Pinault, also received a contemporary update under the direction of Tadao Ando.

Transformation into an open urban complex

The main objective of the renovation of La Poste du Louvre was to transform the building from a closed industrial site into an open urban complex with a multimodal use. Previously it was constructed as a closed stone block, which was only accessible to the public through the post office. As such, the interior of the building remained hidden behind its elegant classicist facade. Today, the complex has been opened up on several sides and was conceived on the one hand as a ‘hotel’ dedicated to receiving the public, and on the other hand as a ‘factory’, with the mail-sorting centre at the heart of the building. Through a network of corridors, inspired by the domed passages of the neighbouring Vivienne and Véro-Dodat galleries, one can easily enter the property and walk up to the central courtyard, around which you’ll find several shops and services. The open courtyard and the new glass facade allow a maximum of natural light to enter the building, which reveals the restored iron structures reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower.

VILLAS decoration Dominique Perrault

DPA

Madame Rêve: a new luxury hotel in the French capital

The large complex also houses the Hotel Madame Rêve, which opens its doors in October 2021. This new hotel is the brainchild of the famous restaurateur and hotelier Laurent Taïeb, who in the past founded several Parisian hospitality venues, such as the restaurants Kong and Bon, in collaboration with renowned designer Philippe Starck. This successful creative duo is also currently collaborating on a hotel designed by architect Jean Nouvel in one of the Parisian Tours Duo, which will open in 2022. Madame Rêve has 82 rooms, including 19 suites, and a rooftop terrace and sky garden overlooking world-famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The inviting interior was conceived by Laurent Taïeb and a collective of talented creatives including interior designer Bruno Borrione. The use of precious materials such as marble, leather and mosaic evokes the luxurious style of an interior design icon: Andrée Putman.

A luxurious yet sustainable vision for building efficient architecture

The global importance of sustainability can no longer be denied, and that also applies in the architectural field. The restructuring of La Poste du Louvre has therefore been provided by various ecological interventions. As a result, the building has obtained the triple certification NF-HQE Rénovation (Excellent level), LEED Core & Shell (Gold level) and BREEAM (Very Good level). In order to achieve this degree of sustainability, the choice was made to implement thermal insulation in the design and to open up the facades of the building, which contributes to its natural ventilation.