Zadig & Voltaire flagship in Paris
Located at the intersection of Rue Cambon and Rue de Rivoli, two classical parisian streets, the new flagship for the French brand Zadig & Voltaire explores a new concept, designed by Bernard Dubois Architects. Situated over 3 floors and 850m2, the store includes areas for women, men, children, accessories, sneakers, shoes and an art gallery displaying a collection including Richard Serra, Franz West, Julian Schnabel, Adam McEwen and Daniel Firman among others.
The first intention of the project was to build an environment for the clothes that would be able to combine both the very haussmannian context of the rue Cambon and rue de Rivoli and the identity of the brand, both raw and parisian.
The project addresses these matters by putting together modernist and classical codes and vocabulary, seeking to create a coherent and rigorous whole by ambiguously combining elements that are not meant to be combined.
The plan of the project works in a very classical way. Indeed, it is composed of a series of adjoining rooms creating long perspectives on all floors. Cornices were made on all ceilings, creating, with the perspectives, a classical impression of the space. Similarly, the Ceppo di gré (traditional milanese stone), is placed in the center of the rooms and surrounded with concrete frames.
On the bigger part of the project, walls have been covered with concrete. The concrete has been projected by hand, then scraped with a triangular-cut metal panel in order to give it a triangular shape. Frames around each wall, door and window have been casted. The concrete triangular shape may remind of the Ladeira da Misericordia by Lina bo Bardi or the Sampson House by Fitzroy Robinson & Partners, but the flat frame around it and the long perpectives may remind more of Auguste Perret, anchoring the project in a parisian tradition. All concrete triangular modules and frames being 5 centimeters wide, all walls, doors and window openings had to match a multiple of 5 centimeters.
The same project expresses itself in the different areas of the store using different materials. The art gallery and the entrance of the store are treated with cold materials such as Ceppo di gré and concrete on the floor, whereas the whole first floor uses a very soft toned beige carpet on the floor, contrasting with the rawness of the concrete walls. The atmosphere softens even more in the areas dedicated to shoes and fitting rooms, where the plastered walls ambiguously refer both to modernist architecture and traditional countryside french houses, due to the frames around them.
The furniture of the store has been conceveid as modular. The raw steel poles are equipped with holes at different heights in order to alternatively fit shelves, hangers, mirrors or glass shelves in metal frames. The truncated shape of the wallnut shelves and benches introduce a post-war Brazilian feeling.