© Martine Houghton
La Maison Champs-Elysées
April 21, 2012
The elegant hôtel particulier at No. 8 rue Jean Goujon in Paris was built in 1866 for the Princesse d’Essling, Empress Eugénie’s Grand Mistress of the Household. Sold to the alumni of the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1919, it was later known as the Maison des Centraliens. A hotel was built in the garden in 1989, and last year, after a change of management, the buildings were in large part radically redesigned by the fashion house Maison Martin Margiela—a fitting remake for the lovely mansion in the high-fashion district around Avenue Montaigne.
The hotel within the Maison des Centraliens is now called La Maison Champs-Elysées, with 40 “boutique” rooms and 17 new “haute-couture” rooms and suites, a lobby lounge, smoking room, a glass-roofed restaurant with a picture-window wall, and an interior garden terrace.
Margiela’s new decor is black and white and witty all over, with trompe l’oeil wallpaper printed with elaborate Second Empire moldings, mantelpieces and fireplaces. In the entrance, the black cabochons that usually corner traditional white flagstones are instead scattered like confetti. The lobby’s White Lounge is swathed in white cotton, except for a black baby grand piano, while the black-on-black Cigar Bar is paneled in soot-black scorched wood. One long corridor is covered in silver leaf. Mirrors everywhere double the fun—and through the looking-glass, nothing is quite exactly what it seems.
8 rue Jean Goujon, Paris 8th. 01.40.74.64.65. Rooms from €200, junior suites from €300. website
Originally published in the March 2012 issue of France Today
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