Created in 2007 by Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni, Studio REV has just lifted the veil on the Maison de Beauté Carita. The opportunity to also come back to the duo’s current projects…
The new face of the Carita Beauty House
Paris, December 1952. The Duchess of Windsor inaugurates 11 faubourg Saint Honoré, where Maria and Rosy Carita have established their salon. Seventy years later, at the end of last September, this time it was Princess Clotilde of Savoy, but also Monica Bellucci, Isabelle Adjani and Clara Luciani who attended the reopening evening of the Maison de Beauté Carita, totally transfigured after two years of work.
This metamorphosis of the Maison de Beauté is part of a 4-year process of total repositioning from the premium brand of L’Oréal Luxe. ” Our ambition is to make the Maison de Beauté the most sought-after place in terms of aesthetic experience in the world, announces Charles Finaz de Villaine, Global Brand Director of Carita. We have entrusted the 1,800 m2 of this private mansion to the good care of Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni “. The architectural duo of Studio REV took over the space ” to project Carita, this brand undergoing total reconstruction, into the future. This is the first time that such an opportunity has been offered to us, says Cristiano Benzoni. Our work has been to amplify the Carita culture and the concept of global beauty in a contemporary building “.
It all starts with the entrance with its staggered arches which create a perspective effect and refer to the Carita logo. In the absence of windows, they catch the eye, encouraging the visitor to enter to discover the atrium, a vast space of dizzying height.
Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni restructured it, clearing away the superfluous, recreating openings, raising the glass roof by one level and crowning the whole with an immense chandelier made up of 777 opalescent discs. ” Our wish is to reveal little by little and not to show everything immediately, to fix the emotions of the visit », explains Sophie Thuillier.
The architects declined a symphony of black and white, but also noble materials: blue stone from Hainaut, marble, quartzite, onyx… The ground floor houses diagnostic alcoves and a shop. On the first floor are the eleven treatment cabins, treated like bubbles of well-being between specific lighting, luxurious atmosphere, à la carte playlist…
Rosy, the restaurant run by the chef Amandine Chaignot, allows you to take the time between two treatments or have lunch with friends. To go from one floor to another, a sumptuous staircase and a walkway offer an unobstructed view of the volumes. The time to linger, to be seen, or not.
The Carita sisters began their career with hairdressing, so it only made sense for Studio REV to treat it in the most beautiful way. Arch-shaped mirrors punctuate the 85 m2 space on the 2nd floor and a bar is adorned with colored vials to evoke the clever preparations of which the house has the secret.
On the 3rd level where the Studio looks, the highlight is the private apartment of 130 m2 with living room, dining room, hairdressing suite, double treatment suite and hammam. ” We have respected the spirit of the artistic culture of the Carita sisters, who in their time had an architectural vision and an avant-garde spirit », indicate the architects to conclude the visit of the Maison de Beauté Carita.
After working alongside Jean Nouvel for ten years as project managersSophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni created Studio REV in 2007, which now has around twenty employees in its offices on rue de Bretagne.
The agency has made a name for itself in the retail and hospitality, displaying some fine references such as the Louis Vuitton flagship on the Champs Elysées (first solo project by Cristiano Benzoni and his agency founded with the American architect Eric Carlson in 2004), the retail concept of Nocibé, Sensee and that of Fauchon corners.
Soon, the Studio will deliver Daniel Del Core’s first London boutique. The space will be sober enough to allow the creations of the young couturier to express themselves, drawing inspiration from the fauna and flora, but will nevertheless echo the designer’s universe, such as the sculptural magnifying glass staircase.
“Architecture is a political act. (…) We must strive to be virtuous.” — Cristiano Benzoni, co-founder of Studio Rev
Studio REV is also Au Top, a rooftop restaurant created for Jean Philippe Nikogossian which offers a place of change of scenery and disconnection with the city it overlooks. Or Le Comptoir 532, in Alixan, a building transformed in the spirit of a truck stop, with a café, dry and fresh markets, cellar and co-working space.
” People were interested in us because of what we had done in the retail but we didn’t want to limit ourselves to this area, just as we hate repetition in our projects, even if it involves a lot more work. It is not the aesthetics but the use that guides us in the first place », explains Sophie Thuillier. ” We have no reference scale in relation to architecture, our approach is linked to the utilitarian side of things, whether it is an object or furniture that we design like a building, with a notion of accessibility, sobriety. Architecture is a political act. A building will stand for a very long time and it will change people’s lives, so strive to be virtuous “adds Cristiano Benzoni.
A few recent projects are enough to understand the duo’s diversity of approach. The Bois-Colombe residential complex for Bouygues Immobilier offers a multi-purpose building that sounds like a manifesto for the city of its commitment to living together. Thus, the ground floor is considered as an extension of the public space with its shops and co-working.
The rooftop isn’t just for locals but is also open to the whole population. Another example, this time for promoter Accolade France, with the transformation of the former Thales Training Center in Jouy-En-Josas into an HEC student residence. ” We started from buildings from the 1970s with generic architecture, to which we added a level by raising the elevations in wood construction with textures and colors inspired by the surrounding nature, explain the architects. Mirror aluminum slats reflect the light and the landscape. In doing so, we make the architecture sensitive and sentimental “. A perfect translation of the REV spirit…
> Carita Beauty House, 11 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris
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