SANAA redesigns paris department store la samaritaine SANAA redesigns paris department store la samaritaine
apr 26, 2010

SANAA redesigns paris department store la samaritaine

la samaritaine overlooks the seine river image © jean pierre muller – getty images

international luxury goods maker LVMH – moet hennessy louis vuitton have chosen the pritzker prize winning japanese architecture firm SANAA to convert the former parisian department store la samaritaine.

the plans for the development, which also includes commercial space, offices and social housing, will be presented at the end of the year.

the iconic store which occupies a prime site overlooking the seine river in central paris was acquired by the company in 2001 and closed in 2005 due to it being a fire hazard, (police found it had antiquated electrical circuits, malfunctioning smoke extraction systems and inflammable wooden flooring).

LVMH who won approval last year to convert the 141 year old building into a hotel, will invest 400 million euros in la samaritaine, due to open in 2013.

the main building –  each floor had six or seven levels, negotiated by short slopes or steps image courtesy travelwithterry

  • This project has been questionable from day one on. Everybody in Paris suspected something like this to happen. The owners didn’t at all intend to keep the shop open, they had other plans. And they have succeeded. Where will all the people who worked at La Samaritaine end up?

    Thomas Gravemaker says:
  • it is equally wicked that SANAA, purveyors of architecture that is fanciful and jokey, will be used to destroy this iconic building.

    laurent says:
  • they kicked H&deM out of the competition.poor jaques

    iusedtobetheintern says:
  • Used to be a nice store where everyone could go and buy something. Of course at the end it wasn’t the greatest store but still it was a popular store, with a hardware department, etc etc.
    And now they are going to transform it into some exclusive, high-end something (LVMH investing in social housing ? just a joke), that only rich people can go in.
    I agree with Thomas, LVMH won, of course they were never interested in retail business, and were looking for a good reason to shut the store down.
    Paris is just becoming one big bling bling luxury mall.

    jon says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news