Reimagining archives

Cartier’s Parisian flagship store at 13 Rue de la Paix is all set to reopen after a two-year renovation, presenting the addition of an interior courtyard and a private space modeled after a Parisian apartment.

13 Rue de la Paix venue holds a notable place in Cartier’s history. The address served as Cartier’s birthplace back in 1899, where Louis Cartier decided the building to be the brand’s Parisian base would be.

In June 2022, the 13 Paix was closed to reimagine the space with modern sensibilities while still upholding the brand’s iconic notes.  This building was renovated for over 2 years by three teams of architects who are friends of the Maison.

“Cartier is not anchored in one city or one period of time,” said Cyrille Vigneron, who has served as the house’s president and chief executive since 2016. “We find inspiration in many sources, like the Islamic world, India’s maharajahs, European Art Deco and much more, all of which now blend into the architecture of our house.”

Inside the building, on the ground floor, visitors will find some hidden treasures of Cartier’s heritage, including Jean Cocteau’s academician’s sword and a collection of rare books in the library of the Louis Cartier Salon. The first floor is dedicated entirely to the world of engagement and weddings, while the second floor presents high jewelry and can also be accessed via a private lift for more discreet customers. The third and fourth-floor showcase Cartier’s savoir-faire and heritage through services, workshops, and archives. Meanwhile, the top two floors, designed by Bruno Moinard, are reserved for the house’s biggest clients, artists, and friends.

“This redesign is a metamorphosis, like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly by recomposing the same molecules in a new way,” Mr. Vigneron said. “We have reconstructed this site with elements of history and time, to create something new and different.”

As part of the renovation, the building’s most iconic black marble structure has been preserved and enhanced. “We had to consider this legacy, find a contemporary narrative for its classic architecture, and play with the codes of this iconic symbol,” explains Nicolas Vérine, Director of Cartier’s Architecture Department.

While talking about the renovation, Cyrille said that each city has more layers than we usually recognize and that limiting the renovation to a particular period would be leaving parts of the house heritage out of the frame.

The new 13 Rue de la Paix address is slated to open on October 28, and the House invites patrons and friends of the Maison into the heart of the Cartier Universe.