Le Scribe, managed by Sofitel, part of the AccorHotels group, today begins a refurbishment that will culminate in the hotel’s metamorphasis in autumn 2019. A Paris institution, Le Scribe has joined forces with Wilson Associates and its artistic director Tristan Auer to restore the hotel to its former glory. Recognised this year as one of the world’s leading decorators and designers, Auer seeks to reinterpret the traditional hospitality codes for Le Scribe by drawing inspiration from its history. The hotel, which will remain open during its transformation, aims to embody the spirit of Paris by emphasising its core assets, namely its location in the Opéra district, its new design and its food & beverage offering.
LE SCRIBE: 150 YEARS OF HISTORY IN THE HEART OF THE OPERA DISTRICT
An ideal location in the heart of Paris
Le Scribe, a legendary hotel in the centre of Paris, was built as part of the Opéra district’s initial development. The city’s alluring department stores, exciting Grands Boulevards, elegant rue de la Paix, luxurious Place Vendôme, world-famous Louvre, charming Palais Royal and beguiling arcades are nearby. Le Scribe has been part of the vibrant beat of Paris for 150 years.
Symbolising the art of living since 1861
Since its construction in 1861, Le Scribe has been a key player in the city’s life, having been chosen just two years later, in 1863, as the seat of the prestigious Jockey Club, where French and European high society gathered during the Second Empire. In 1895, the visionary Lumière brothers held the world’s first film screening at Le Scribe, which was also home to many artists and celebrities including Josephine Baker, who made it her Paris residence until 1968.
A DELICATE, RESOLUTELY PARISIAN DESIGN
Paris and its heritage at the heart of the refurbishment
Proud of its heritage, Le Scribe has always been a meeting place for brilliant minds, visionary or eccentric spirits, elegant Parisian ladies-who-lunch and artists from around the world. Its walls echo with the conversations, encounters and laughter witnessed throughout history, as when the greatest names in American and Canadian journalism attended General Eisenhower’s press conferences at Le Scribe after the liberation of Paris.
“This is a building that has always been closely connected to images: the moving image - cinema - and photographic images, especially during the war when it was a communications centre. It was also the first building in the world to be draped for an advertising campaign. What’s more, it has a fantastic history!” Tristan Auer, artistic director, Wilson Associates.
Tristan Auer’s designs for the guestrooms recall a Parisian apartment, with fireplaces, mouldings, wainscoting and fabric headboards. Bathroom ceilings reflect the colours of the Opéra Garnier’s ceiling as painted by Chagall, a beautiful reference to the area. The bas-reliefs, medallions and vases evoke artists’ studios, a nod to Paris museums. A selection of vibrant, colourful works in various abstract styles by young French artists decorates the walls.
The bathrooms feature terrazzo floors, upper wooden moulding evoking a typical 19th-century atmosphere, with superimposed materials, folding screens, ceramics, wood and tiling. Tristan Auer specially designed the dressing gown hooks to resemble picture rails. Rose-gold faucets are in contrast to the hotel’s “men’s club” spirit with a soft, feminine touch.
The spirit of a gentleman’s club
Le Scribe wanted to recreate the intense ambiance of Paris nightlife around the Opéra Garnier during the Second Empire, when it was the seat of the Jockey Club. Tristan Auer skilfully recreated the spirit of a “men’s club” with subtle, refined touches. To contrast with the masculine side, he created guestrooms and a tearoom that are more feminine, angelic and sensitive while revisiting the mood of a Haussmannian apartment typical of Paris.
Le Scribe will undergo a complete refurbishment from April 2018 to autumn 2019 but remain open during that entire time. Travellers can discover the first guestrooms in September 2018. Recalling Parisian pieds-à-terre, they will feature the codes of the capital’s Haussmannian architecture.
A hotel concept beyond the walls
In keeping with Tristan Auer’s design choices - evoking the historic Paris hotel while embracing modernity - Le Scribe takes a collaborative approach to embody the Parisian spirit. Guests, neighbourhood residents and hotel staff will participate in surveys with an eye to co-building the hotel’s new offerings. This initiative aims to put guests at the heart of Le Scribe’s spirit, creating a thoroughly Parisian experience.