Bernard Dubois designs Canal Saint-Martin hotel to feel "far from Paris"


Belgian architect Bernard Dubois designed bespoke 1970s-style wooden furniture and interiors for the revamped Bouchardon hotel in Paris, which references mountain hotels.

Located in the Canal Saint-Martin district of the French capital, the Bouchardon is an aparthotel containing 11 suites. Every apartment has its own kitchen and dining area.

Aparthotel in Paris, France.Aparthotel in Paris, France.
Each suite has a private dining area

The entire building has been rebuilt and Dubois was appointed to create its interior, which he wanted to provide “both refuge and an intimate feel,” the designer said.

“The place is inviting, showcasing wood, brown fabrics and green carpeting,” Dubois told Dezeen.

Bouchardon Hotel in Paris, FranceBouchardon Hotel in Paris, France
Wood panels line the walls of the corridors

At first, Dubois designed the entire project in wood, before deciding to introduce a material palette of contrasting textures, using lacquer on some pieces to add gloss.

This shiny element balances the various wood textures.

While pairing opposing finishes, Dubois aimed to keep the space cohesive by using the same colour palette throughout.

“Coherence is all about finding common grounds between references – [to] create a family with shapes and materials referencing different periods and contexts,” he said.

Hotel suite in Paris, FranceHotel suite in Paris, France
Yellow soft furnishings and custom lamps also feature throughout the space

Dubois designed all of the furniture specially for the space and had them manufactured by two millworkers.

The architect also designed all of the interior architecture details for the Bouchardon.

As part of this tailor-made approach, Dubois created a focal point for each bedroom using statement headboards made from terracotta.

The terracotta-coloured headboards are uniquely shaped for each room and “evoke the 1970s in both their shape and glossy lacquer finish,” Dubois said.

Bouchardon hotel in Paris, FranceBouchardon hotel in Paris, France
The bedrooms each include a unique large statement headboard

Dubois also took cues from the aesthetics of mountain hotels combined with American cinema references.

“The concept of this space was to break away from conventions, far from Paris,” he explained.

“You can imagine opening a window in the morning and suddenly discovering a landscape reminiscent of Twin Peaks or Colorado.”

The aim was to give visitors an experience evocative of a ski holiday.

“The colours and materials evoke mountain hotels, with carpeted hallways and entrances where one can hear the warm muffled sound of ski boots,” Dubois added.

Bouchardon hotel in Paris, FranceBouchardon hotel in Paris, France
A rail-like wooden partition separates the bedroom and living area

Dubois studied photography before moving into architecture and set up his eponymous firm in 2014.

For this project, he borrowed from the principles of photographers William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, known for their simple compositions and highly saturated photos respectively.

Dubois describes his design approach for the Bouchardon, and more broadly, as “creating universes”.

“Designing is all about creating stories, universes,” he said. “Like a film-maker, a photographer, it’s about digesting references and coming up with something different that, although rooted, creates its own identity and its own story.”

Other projects from the studio recently featured on Dezeen include a Parisian clothing store that features nods to nightclub interiors and a yellow-bricked store for skincare brand Aesop.

The photography is by Ludovic Balay.





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