JP Gaultier Abyss

In 2001, after competition, Jean-Paul Gaultier choose to create his future couture house, in a Parisian building of early XXth century, the architects, Moatti & Riviere :“Architecture is the creation of imaginary places to which the architects gives a face to reality…”, asserts their mutual vision.

The building’s ornamental profusion, quite conventional in its very redundancy, sparked the imagination they claim as their source. They took up the challenge, in keeping with the desires of the owner whose appeals stems from innovating with what exists and an aesthetics of excess.

In this spirit of apparent simplicity, they entered into a dialogue with the incongruous palace of the mutual benefit pension company “ L’ Avenir du Proletariat”, an extremely complex, seven-storey building with a total surface area of 5 000M2.

All along the resurrection of this place, I have been following the different steps like one embarks on a long ocean voyage. My ever-searching imagination could have only been struck by the lavish baroque of the place, by its eclipsed theatrical scenery and its metamorphosis. Like an ethnologist on the Gaultier planet, my taste for unlikeness, for the elsewhere, has led me to “record memories” of the architects’ “journey”.
Therefore I have wanted to capture the patrimonial silence, the lyric of the ironwork, the voids and glass canopies which open it to the sky, the passage of night to day, obscurity to transparency.

In june 2004, lying in the heart of the building, the theatrical showroom opens finally onto the day and the stars at night. The sky is reflected in the black resin. A setting that blurs the line between dream and reality.
Behind the secret passageways of the private haute couture showroom, here architecture is synonymous with emotion, elegance, imagination, insolence and charm…
This narration draws on tiny details to reveal the progression of the yard transformed by the human hand.

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