Design studio Festen Architecture take inspiration from 1930s Paris to reimagine Hotel Rochechouart, the latest address from Orso Hotels
A project two years in the making, Hotel Rochechouart is the latest address to open under Orso Hotels, the burgeoning Parisian hotel group founded by Anouk and Louis Solanet. The pair tapped Charlotte de Tonnac and Hugo Sauzay of Festen Architecuture to reinterpret the nine floor building, which had once accommodated a large hotel, brasserie, and cabaret hall and was quite the Pigalle hotspot when it opened as l’Hôtel Charleston back in 1929.
With this in mind, de Tonnac and Sauzay began to delve into the hotel’s archives to revive the ambience of 1930s Paris, starting with restoring the authentic details of the historic building. The façade was stripped away to reveal the original design, whilst inside the period floral wall mouldings, mosaic floor, and wrought iron lift were restored to their former glory.
The 106 rooms and suites have been imbued with one of four muted shades, terracotta, ochre, aged white, and, bronze green, with the glossy black finishings a subtle nod to one of Art Deco’s signature colours. In keeping with the retro theme there’s a smattering of vintage furniture, but Festen has successfully avoided reducing the hotel to a simple pastiche, something they admit they were conscious of. The duo designed the majority of the furnishings themselves, and whilst the deep burl wood headboards, 50s-style coffee tables, and velvet armchairs clearly take their cues from the past, the clean lines of glass bedside tables and chrome light fittings add a contemporary edge. To complement each room’s earthy tones, artist Tiffany Bouelle was enlisted to create a series of rich-hued watercolours, whilst all other artworks have been sourced and curated by the Parisian vintage art gallery, Galerie Française. In the bathrooms, Festen’s marble sinks and mirrors have been paired with traditional French stone flooring and ceramic tiles that are typical of the Beaujolais region.
Downstairs in the brasserie, which according to hotel legend was once frequented by Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier, the simple wood dining tables, chairs and banquettes, all custom-designed by the architects, allow the historic and more decorative details to shine. Lamps pay homage to Art Deco design with a marble effect finish, a popular design trend at the time, and on the walls hangs the brasserie’s original glass and gilded menus. Although the team won’t be reviving the underground dance hall, the rooftop has been converted to follow a more current trend, rooftop bars, and show off the hotel’s spectacular views of Paris and neighbourhood grand dame, the Sacré-Cœur.