Enlisted in the project because of his knowledge of public buildings, the challenge Pierre Monmarson (BM Architecture) faced was threefold: complete the project quickly, at minimal expense, whilst increasing the height of the building, which originally had three floors and a sloping slate roof. In order to increase its capacity to 58 rooms, the hotel needed to be extended upwards and yet retain harmonious proportions. Therefore, the architect transformed the style of this Faubourg building by giving it a more Haussmann look. (1)
1) Baron Georges Eugene Haussmann (1809–1891), dramatically rebuilt Paris at the request of Napoleon III. The so-called “Haussmann style” buildings usually have five to seven floors, designed to accommodate several families of varying social classes under the same roof. The mansard roofs with hatches, which lit the rooms of the service personnel, are typical.
RAISING THE BAR
The approach had to reflect the existing building but also create a dynamic between respect for history and innovation. To achieve this, Pierre Monmarson designed a dome, taking as his reference the many imperial domes in the district and creating an interplay between the protruding angle of the corner building and the soft curves of the roof. Continuing with this approach of urban integration,the architect incorporated curved bay windows, recalling the bow windows which are another common feature of the district. A sofa in each bay window allows guests at the hotel to enjoy views across the rooftops of Paris.
DEPENDING ON TILES
Monmarson needed a lightweight material to extend the building skywards – something flexible that could be used to create the curves and support the tiling of the dome. The white glazed smooth tile was exactly what the architect was looking for – easy to fit to the wooden roof battens, like cladding, and small enough to shape the curves needed. Pierre Monmarson combined the pearlescent white tile with white paint on the façade for consistency of colour across the building. “The aim was to avoid an obvious break between the existing building and the extended section”. It is a remarkable project, impressive for having dressed up the Parisian rooftops in keeping with the architecture of this iconic district by combining tradition, Art Deco and modernism.
Project nameXO Hotel, Paris, France
ArchitectBM architecture, Pierre Monmarson
Koramic 301 white glazed
Year of completion2016