REV Studio signs the revival of the Maison de Beauté Carita

REV Studio signs the revival of the Maison de Beauté Carita

Two years of work were completed this fall at number 11 of the prestigious rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. Inaugurated in December 1952 by Rosy and Maria Carita, the famous Maison de Beauté is reborn on the occasion of its 70th anniversary. A transformation deeply rooted in the history of this emblematic brand which counts among its customers Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Adjani, to name them. This mission was entrusted to Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni, founders of REV Studio who were passionate about this prestigious project and signed a successful vision of the company. This private mansion spread over 1,800m2 includes a concept store, a space dedicated to care, another to the gaze, a restaurant by the talented chef Amandine Chaignot… and other surprises to discover during our interview with Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni .

What is your vision of the Carita house?

The Carita art of living is above all based on committed values, driven by the courage and determination of two women who wanted to carry feminine emancipation very high through beauty. Beauty becomes a subject of militant culture. The living spirit of the sisters continues to inspire the brand’s vision for the future. And the architecture and interiors of this new space must reflect what these modern and timeless women were like.
To transcend this heritage, it was necessary to find an intelligence of space, clean lines. Cultivate a sense of textures and prestigious materials, white, black and pastel and current colors inspired by the fluid textures of iconic products. Everything is done to highlight the values ​​that have made Carita a global icon: holistic beauty, exclusive and welcoming spaces, treatment techniques capable of revealing destiny and inspiring the metamorphosis of each person.

In your mind, what was the starting point of this project?

A sleepless night of passionate work for the presentation of our concept: the first intuitions about the volumes, the clearance of the atrium, the raising of the existing glass roof, the air passages. It was fluid, like an evidence. Then the meeting and a unique synergy with the teams, in particular Charles Finaz de Villaine, Elisabeth Sandager and Cyril Chapuy who have carried this fabulous project very high until today.

The arch is a pattern that repeats and reinvents itself throughout the home. How did you include it in the space and for what reasons?

At Carita, we noticed a unique coincidence: the logo and the entrance to the Maison de Beauté are one. It is these lines and the femininity of this simple and poetic, monumental and sensual monogram that we have chosen to define the overall writing of the new architectural identity of the House: the volumes and spaces, the elements of furniture, textures and the cutting of materials. Through the entrance gallery, the rue du Fbg Saint-Honoré extends for 12 meters inside the Maison Carita. A link that becomes the place of the new Carita identity, to inspire and “aspire” both visitors and regulars of the House. We designed a sequence of large staggered arches, inspired by the brand’s monogram, which create a subtly accelerated perspective and gradually reveal the interior vision of the new beauty house. A natural stone floor, like a common thread, invites you to discover the interior spaces of the House from the street.

A treatment cabin from the Maison de Beauté Carita.

The house is built around an impressive atrium. What are the different attributes that convey this impression? How did you think of it?

We designed the new atrium as the epicenter of the new Maison Carita, where the quintessence of the monogram and the new Carita identity becomes space and memory. We have freed the atrium from successive additions to restore the original proportions of the interior courtyard and we have raised the canopy to the ceiling by one level: for us, the first imprint of luxury is the perception of volume. The resulting architecture has an unexpected, monumental and memorable character. The composition of the arches created around the courtyard reveals deep and filtered perspectives giving a glimpse of the richness of the activities offered in the different destination and living spaces of the new Maison Carita: the boutique, the treatment areas, the restaurant, the lounge hairdressing, the space dedicated to the beauty of the eyes…
The different spaces of the Maison de Beauté are linked to the atrium by light and airy paths, a unique architectural promenade as a promise or souvenir of the visit and of exceptional care. Each discovery gives way to a part of mystery and seduction. The soft Parisian light is invited inside this powerful scenario by the glass roof which overhangs the whole of the atrium.
We made a chandelier in ecological resin to invite Parisian light inside the volume and allow us to work with it like an architectural material. The light creates translucent clouds that play with overhead passages and evoke the fluidity and freshness that make up the history of iconic Carita products: the dome of this new cathedral of Beauty, monumental and ephemeral at the same time.

How is the project divided up, what are the different spaces?

Treatment cabins:
Each treatment cabin offers customers the exception of unique Carita products and techniques, in the extension of the gesture. A warm, intimate and sensual atmosphere illustrates the beginning of a story inspired by the brand’s heritage, which aims to create a sense of belonging in customers.

Café Rosy, the restaurant by Amandine Chaignot:
Carita offers its customers a unique and prestigious restaurant, overlooking the atrium. It is a place of meeting and shared emotions.

The hair salon by John Nollet:
Faithful to the memory of Rosy, Maria and their nephew Christophe, the hair salon could only be at the heart of the Maison de Beauté. Because it was first with their scissors and their combs that the sisters conquered Paris and the world, followed by Christophe, nicknamed “the little prince of hairdressing” and darling of celebrities.

Covering 85m2, on the second floor, a bright space is revealed with nine hairdressing stations and a private lounge of 28m2, accessible by one of the air passages. The clean, timeless design looks like a modern hall of mirrors: the hairdressing mirrors feature the monogram and the arch by creating hairdressing “alcoves” dedicated to dramatizing the experience of each client. This makes it possible to keep an intimate dimension in this spacious living room, where the technique yields nothing to the comfort of the guests. We proposed to revolutionize the living room space by diverting the usual codes. The shampoo basins, like a hair spa, are placed facing the atrium. A sensitive set of mirror screens dose the intimacy between the different clients.
A color bar is at the center of the hair salon space. We have borrowed the codes of traditional catering to stage the preparation of the color for each client as if it were a cocktail.

Beauty’s apartment:

On the top floor of Maison Carita we have designed a beauty apartment with Paris placed on the horizon line. The apartment has a living room, a dining room, a hairdressing suite and a double treatment suite, an exceptional place with a starred catering service on request.

These extraordinary spaces are reserved for the quintessence of the services and treatments of the Maison de Beauté for the most exclusive clientele.

The apartment located on the top floor.

What motivated your choice of furniture? Did you design any particular pieces of furniture for this project?

We designed all the service furniture for the Maison de Beauté. It was an opportunity for us to amplify the codes of architecture and our vision to touch. The shape of the furniture is inspired by the Carita monogram and the variation of the arch. Their materialities express the elegance of solid sheet steel in three different finishes, textured matte black, chrome and brushed, in keeping with the symphony of colors of the entire project.

For the choice of decorative furniture, we dialogued with the cultural universe of the Carita sisters. The starting point for our reflection was to choose a designer they particularly liked, Pierre Paulin. We have chosen rare editions by Pierre Paulin that we have revisited. In this scenario we have invited other iconic designers, past and present.

In the beauty apartment, Paulin rubs shoulders with Angelo Mangiarotti and Eero Saarinen, Umberto Riva meets the sensitive objects of Hiromi Objects. Works by Chinese artist Yang Jiechang create cultural depth and understated elegance in each room. A comfortable and warm decorative universe, suspended between past and present as in a painting by Giorgio de Chirico.

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