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La Samaritaine Taps Pritzker Prize-Winning Architects

Pritzker-prize winning Japanese firm SANAA to remake landmark French department store, La Samaritaine.

PARIS — La Samaritaine, the landmark department store owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has chosen Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the SANAA agency to design its new retail-to-housing complex.

The Art Deco-style building, located between the Seine River and the Rue de Rivoli, shuttered abruptly in June 2005 because it did not meet city fire safety standards. The site will be reborn as a complex combining retail, offices, social housing and possibly a hotel.

This story first appeared in the April 5, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“This is an important step for the future of La Samaritaine,” the store said.

The Tokyo-based architects, who were awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize on Monday, are due to present their project by the end of the year. Work is not expected to start until 2011, with an opening slated for the end of 2013.

Among SANAA’s major projects are stores for Christian Dior and Issey Miyake in Tokyo, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.

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