The Ultimate Design Lover’s Guide to Paris – What makes the City of Lights shine? Five cultural tastemakers share their thoughts on the origin of Paris’ timeless allure.
Daniel Libeskind, Patrick Seguin, Martine Assouline, Thaddaeus Ropac and Alice Black share what they think about Paris and give their recommendations to design lovers on where to go, where to eat and where to catch the best views, creating the ultimate guide to Paris for a design lover..
Daniel Libeskind, architect, thinks Paris is one of the most extraordinary cities that has ever been created. Mostly due to the architecture: the amazing cuts and straight lines that are violently placed into the city have created a set of configurations like a spider’s web, connecting the city with energy, light and the dynamism of human desire. To experience this, he says to stand on one of those amazing avenue’s created by urban planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann. He would stand right in the middle of Place de la Concorde, with its prosthetic hieroglyphics in the center of space, and look at the width, breadth and amazement as Paris presents itself.
Patrick Seguin, gallerist, has made Paris his home. He says the city always offers an unlimited scope of top-quality cultural experiences. The current exhibition at Centre Georges Pompidou focusing on the Union des Artists Modernes, a group of decorative artists and architects that originated in 1929, actually features a 6×6 Demountable House by Jean Prouvé. For a moment of peace, he retreats to the calming and naturally lit Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries Garden or the permanent collection at the Musée d’Art Moderne in the 16th arrondissement. For a nice dinner in the evening, he recommends Les Enfants Rouges in the Marais, a Japanese-inspired French bistro.
Martine Assouline, publisher and co-founder of Assouline, says Paris is no longer “une fête,” but remains the place to go for its beauty, charm and rich culture. She is the area of Palais Royal, which has remained exactly the same since the 18th century, with its beautiful hidden garden in the center of the building. From here, you can access some of the best places in Paris even without a car: three minutes to the Louvre, 10 minutes to Saint-Germain-des-Près and a couple more minutes to the Opera. Paris is full of great cafes, boutiques and restaurants. Her favorite restaurant in Paris is Chez l’Ami Louis, the perfect place for good food, good wine and authenticity.
Thaddaeus Ropac, gallerist, says the Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne comes immediately to mind when he thinks of his favorite places in Paris. The finished building just took his breath away with its sheer scale and utopian power – like a ship sailing through the Parisian woods. It is definitely the most amazing building since the opening of the Centre Pompidou in the 1970s, becoming one of the Parisian cultural and urban landscape.
Alice Black, co-director of the Design Museum, says that, for her, Paris is majestic, regal, charming and romantic. She grew up in Paris, south of Montparnasse, and loved the grittiness of its nearby streets since then: the theaters and sleazy shops of Rue de la Gaîté; the small cafes and restaurants on Rue d’Odessa; the famed brasseries of Boulevard du Montparnasse, like La Coupole and La Closerie des Lilas. All harbor the memories of the artists and writers who used to work or live there. She loves the shops and cafes of Rue des Archives, the recently refurbished Musée Picasso, and, of course, the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois.
Follow this guide to Paris and have a wonderful time in the City of Lights and Love.
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