Beaumarchais lived here, fabulous parties took place here, and great names have stayed here. Yet for more than half a century, the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, has been left slumbering in the heart of Le Marais. This winter a part of this unique building, recognised as one of the most beautiful in Paris, will come to life again and open its doors to the public once more. It is here that CHANEL has chosen to install a double ephemeral boutique.
The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is classified as a National Heritage Site, and its high doors carved with two gargoyle heads and the coat of arms belonging to the family that acquired the townhouse in the 17th century, give one a hint of its impressive stature that lies within. These doors open onto the Cour d’Honneur, surrounded by two buildings, where one immediately senses a breath of magic and of mystery in the air. At the entrance four sundials have kept their polychrome in spite of the years gone by.
The two ephemeral boutiques break from the traditional codes of CHANEL. Each space has been left in its untouched state: exposed stone walls are bare having been simply adorned with facades of transparent glass, giving pride of place to the history of this hôtel particulier which over the centuries has been witness to so many lives. The floor, with it’s worn appearance, is made from resin to resemble Corten steel. This desire for purity also offers a glimpse of the immense renovation in progress of these buildings and those hidden in the rear courtyard.
Within this minimalist environment only the black linear clothes rails and the wooden console tables mounted on glass supports, emerge here and there. In the first building, on the left, the Ready-to-Wear collections and the accessories are presented over a single floor of 127m².
A second space, consisting of just 37m², and made to look like the studio of a great artist, is housed in the building on the right. In complete respect for the mineral and almost archaeological atmosphere of this setting, once again, nothing has been changed, adorned, reconstituted or hidden. Here, only authenticity, miraculously preserved over the ages, prevails. Pierced with a window, this boutique brings together the CHANEL shoes.
Like a stroll through time and History it reminds us that a piece by CHANEL is anchored in modernity and the air du temps, yet is also transmitted from one generation to the next. The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is one of its most beautiful showcases yet.