6 Rue des Saint-Peres

6-rue-des-saint-peres

Readers, you may have noted that all of the inspirations I have posted so far have been somewhat dark, black, and edgy. First I looked at the photography of Sam Hessamian, followed my my musings on light painting, and lastly the grunge music genre and how music influences the creative process. This is not by accident, as all three of these topics tie into a project I had worked on while living in Paris.

I had been instructed to convert an existing furniture showroom into a photography lab dedicated to the exhibition and production of images. The location in question – the Molteni & C store at address 6 rue des Saint-Peres in the 6th arrondissement. This Italian retailer’s Parisian flagship store was designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in 1979, following the Carlo Scarpa tradition (Carlo was Tobia’s father). The architectural elements were already pretty much perfect, so I made no attempt to improve upon that. Instead, we focused on lighting in order to change the nature of the space. Above is a Photoshop render of my concept, and below are my photos of the existing site.

6-rue-des-saint-peres

6-rue-des-saint-peres

The site at address 6 rue des Saint-Peres, Paris, France consists of a multiple level showroom for the display and sales of designer furniture. There are three levels to the space: the lower level, a mezzanine level, and an upper level. The store occupies a corner on rue des Saint-Peres and rue de Lille. As already mentioned, the objective is to convert the showroom into a space dedicated to photography.

My concept for this conversion was to create a space whose primary purpose was to inspire those who come into it and spark an interest in photography. The feeling of the space was to be that of an underground artist studio, in which customers are invited to experience the creative process behind photography and encouraged to pick up a camera and try it out for themselves. Lighting was paramount in the creation of this alternative ambiance, and all furnishing and materials were chosen with this industrial, more visceral experience as the main goal.

6-rue-des-saint-peres

6-rue-des-saint-peres

The space was to be divided into different sections, each corresponding to a different phase of creating an image. Different rooms for experimentation and realization on the ground floor, merchandise on the mezzanine level, and studio space and a projection room on the upper level.

6-rue-des-saint-peres

6-rue-des-saint-peres

Of course, this project was never actually realized. Molteni & C is still going strong, and I don’t see why they would give up their Parisian flagship store, but if they ever do, I have an idea for it.

{Black/white light image courtesy of An Xiao}