The Samaritaine department store was founded in 1870 by Ernest Cognacq and Louise Jäy. Modernized by Baron Haussmann, it evokes the style of the first department stores that appeared during the Second French Empire. Centrally located between the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Samaritaine is also classified as an architectural monument, harmoniously bringing together both Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. In 2005, the department store was abruptly closed for security reasons due to safety standards, a major disappointment to loyal customers.
The LVMH group that now owns the Samaritaine has decided to renovate the building, through an ambitious overhaul and an approach that’s both innovative and committed to the environment .
The building itself is over 750,000 sq ft and 10 stories high, and includes the department store, but also a hotel, 96 social housing units, a nursery and offices, situated within two island structures that are located between the streets Quai du Louvre and Rue de Rivoli.
But you'll have to wait until 2018 to enjoy the new Samaritaine. The design has been put in the hands of Japanese agency “Sanaa,” winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2010. This historic building requires extensive work, since all of its deteriorating facades must be completely restored.
Polychrome enameled lava stone by Frantz Jourdain will be updated on the part of the building facing the Rue de l’Arbre Sec, and the famous Jourdain hall will be good as new, with a restored glass ceiling in the original 1905 style, its monumental staircase and Art Nouveau decor. On the Rue de Rivoli side, the housing complex will also be renovated and remodeled into social housing units.
Otis will be installing new elevators and escalators in the Samaritaine before the opening in 2018. The company also plans to install 25 escalators and 40 elevators in the other parts of the structure like the hotel, offices and nursery.
We'll see you at the Samaritaine when it opens in 2018!