HAMBURG, Germany — Chanel plans to bring most of its specialty ateliers under one roof with the construction of a new site in the north of Paris designed by award-winning architect Rudy Ricciotti.
With a surface of close to 275,000 square feet over five floors and two basements, the building near Porte d’Aubervilliers is expected to be completed by 2020. Creative and production workshops will be housed in a building covered in a concrete shell evoking threads, in a nod to the French fashion house’s know-how.
Specialty ateliers Chanel controls through its Paraffection subsidiary include the jeweler Desrues, feather-maker Lemarié, embroiderers Maison Lesage and Atelier Montex, shoemaker Massaro and milliner Maison Michel. They are spread out over several sites in Paris, and the suburbs Aubervilliers and Pantin.
“We are going to bring together most of the specialty ateliers that belong to Chanel with the intention of creating the best possible working conditions, because today our site in Pantin and the production site in Aubervilliers are saturated,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion.
“It’s a new adventure, it’s a fantastic window for these workshops, and it’s also a very strong sign to the people who work in them that we believe in them and we will continue to invest in these Métiers d’Art,” he told WWD in Hamburg on the sidelines of its show dedicated to these houses.
Ricciotti, winner of the Grand Prix National d’Architecture, is known for his innovative use of concrete in buildings like the Museum of Civilizations in Europe and the Mediterranean in Marseille and the Department of Islamic Arts at the Louvre.
“The philosophy behind this project destined for the Chanel Métiers d’Art is founded on a narrative, that of the relationship between the technical and scholarly complexity of fashion’s craftsmen, their remarkable virtuosity in the service of creation and beauty, and the extreme technological nature of my constructions,” the architect said in a statement.
The building will prioritize natural light, with workshops overlooking a vast garden, and energy efficiency.
Chanel’s collaborations with artisans date back to founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who worked with Massaro on the production of her signature two-tone shoe, jeweler Goossens for her costume jewelry, and Lemarié, which continues to be the exclusive provider of the camellias that are an emblem of the house.