La Samaritaine - perhaps one of the places which reopening is the most awaited... Closed since 2005 for many deteriorations, the department store was expected to reopen in 2020. But the health crisis got the better of LVMH's expectations - as they took over the store.
Previously said to reopen from April 2020, then from May 28, 2021, the definitive reopening date of the famous department store has been ultimately revealed: June 23, 2021! While we wait for the moment we can discover the store, here is everything expecting you in this architectural gem set by the Pont Neuf on rue de Rivoli, covering over 70,000sqm!
The smallest department store...
...but the biggest concept-store. This is how the upcoming La Samaritaine sets the tone! A 20,000sqm shopping mall likely to make any serial-shopper happy. This is the La Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf, a new concept store highlighting what makes the charm of Paris: fashion, food and art de vivre!
Calling all shopping-addicts, over 600 brands expect you under the legendary glass roof of the shopping mall. You have luxury brands of course, as well as exclusivities and young designers that will probably make tomorrow's fashion. By the way, we even have a 200sqm concept store. Every style and taste should meet. You get it, this is the place to be if you follow fashion or launch trends.
We also discover a 3000sqm beauty area, the biggest so far that we can find in Paris and where you can find exclusive gems. And since beauty also means wellness, how about delighting those in need of some pampering time? A Spa and a beauty-studio are also in!
We spoke about shopping, lifestyle, what do we miss? Oh, yes, food! The entire 5th floor is devoted to food. Restaurants, cafés and tearooms, all in all, 10 food corners are ready to make you taste the best of French cuisine. From the creativeness of a starred chef to the greed of the trendiest pastry, you'll be stuffing your faces.
Another big change? A palace, please! Le Cheval Blanc Paris, is a luxury 72-bedroom hotel likely to provide "a place of exciting culinary meetings and a 650sqm terrace laying between two aisles, giving views from the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame to Centre Georges Pompidou [...], a gourmet restaurant managed by chef Arnaud Donckele", and a Spa Cheval Blanc enjoying a very beautiful swimming pool.
A bit of background...
For the record, La Samaritaine was created in 1870 by Ernest Cognacq. This seller opens his novelty business in a room near a café. Very quickly, success comes around and the store gets bigger. In 1900, Ernest Cognacq rules over department stores and takes over several blocks. La Samaritaine develops and revolves as run by its successive owners. It reaches its golden age in the 1960's.
After 1970, the commercial success of the department store goes downhill. It gets smaller and stores are sold to companies and turned into offices. In 2001, LVMH group takes over La Samaritaine. Four years later, the store closes for renovation works. This closing could have been temporary, La Samaritaine is still closed.
Originally, works were thought to last until 2015. The latter have been highly delayed. Reopening announcements have been made for 2018 and 2019. Even though, it's the smallest department store in Paris, this new Samaritaine is a pharaonic project. Taken over by LVMH, La Samaritaine expects to be the talk of the city! So what should we expect?
The new Samaritaine, a new place of life
At the time temples of shopping tend to become real places of life, La Samaritaine is no exception and goes even beyond. So, when the phoenix rises from the ashes, you can expect shopping but not only!
Seine side, this Art Déco gem welcomes a new Parisian Palace, the Cheval Blanc. A new spot featuring 26 bedrooms and 46 suites with views on the riverbanks and Notre-Dame and owns the biggest swimming pool in Paris. Pastry chef Maxime Frédéric also left George V kitchen to entertain the Cheval Blanc taste buds!
But tourists are not the only winners with this new La Samaritaine: this store rises from the ashes and also includes 96 social housings entrusted to Paris Habitat and an 80-spot day care managed by "Les Petites Canailles" as well as 15,000sqm offices.
An eco-friendly project
Covering over 70,000sqm, 10 stories is part of an innovative environmental approach. To get it right, let's speak technique.
The new La Samaritaine uses renewable energies: it's air-conditioned with deep geothermy and ice stocking processes. LVMH group also committs for the environment and the economy. 800 positions have been created for the department store, 380 for the Cheval Blanc Paris hotel, restaurants, daycare, security... All in all 1500 positions will be proposed first to the employees working there until 2005. With the offices, La Samaritaine is expected to bring 2400 new positions.
The project of the conception has been entrusted to Japanese agency Sanaa, Pritzker award winner 2010. To combine innovation and heritage, Jean-François Lagneau - head architect of historic buildings - took part in the project. The upcoming works for the Cheval Blanch hotel are supervised by Edouard François.
Note that Otis company has also been called in to fit the new Samaritaine with lifts and escalators by the public reopening in 2020. Otis also plans to set 25 escalators and over 40 lifts serving the department store, the Cheval Blanc, the offices, the housings and the daycare.
What does Samaritaine mean?
It is a reference to the Bible that was used as an inspiration for the sculptures standing on the original building. It told about when Jesus met the Samaritan at the Jacob's Well. According to John's Gospel, Jesus walks by a woman from Samaria - the name of an ancient city on the land of Israel now set a few miles from Nablus, Palestina - who is resting. According to the Orthodox tradition, she was called Photini.
The two start talking. Jesus asks for water to the Samaritanian woman who is surprised he talks to her, as Jews despise Samaritanians and never talk to them. Jesus told her the water she draws does not quench the thirst, but white water he gives gushes and anyone drinking it will no longer be thirsty. They keep on talking until the Samaritan understands he is the Messiah and invites people from her village to come and listen to him.
Dates and Opening Time
Starts 23 June 2021
19 Rue de la Monnaie
75001 Paris 1