Fermob & the Grand Hotel Dieu
Grand Hôtel Dieu
1 Place de l’Hôpital
When design and architecture mix and match to revive historical monuments the result is breathtaking! Bernard Reybier, Fermob’s CEO and Patrick Muller, Manager of the Grand Hôtel Dieu tell us how they partnered as part of the development of the Grand Hôtel Dieu.
In the beginning, there was the Grand Hotel Dieu, a monumental building dating from the 12th century. Sold in 1478 to the city of Lyon, it operated as a hospice, then a hospital, and a maternity hospital, which closed in 2010. In 2011, the Grand Hotel Dieu was classified as a historical monument. It was redesigned and reconfigured to adapt to the new urban dwellings and the atmosphere reigning in the centre of Lyon where the building sits proudly. This was the start of a new era: one of celebration, life and the future. The Grand Hotel Dieu has great plans on the horizon: it is to become a place for leisure and relaxation, where it is good just to walk around, do some bits of shopping, put down your suitcases, enjoy good food, have a stroll or work, and simply appreciate the real French way of life, in the middle of 51,500 m2 of pleasure.
THINKING IT UP
The Grand Hôtel Dieu is changing. It was thought up, by its manager, Patrick Muller, surrounded by the greatest architects and designers. Under the watchful eye of the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs, the refreshing, modernization and development work began, to make it into a place that reflects Lyon’s joie de vivre and the French attitude in all its splendour.
To meet their expectations regarding space planning and the desire to move away from classicism towards the modernism that is driving the city centre, the Hotel Dieu directors called on Fermob. This was choice that “appeared to them to be quite an obvious one to make, because here we were looking for furniture that is elegant, simple, and timeless. This is where the Fermob range clearly reflects things”, says Patrick Muller. What was their ambition? To make the place last … and last magnificently!
“A great atmosphere,” says Bernard Reybier, “because each of us recognized the other’s problem. Our fascination for this place made things easy. We naturally listened to each other because it was so exciting!”
STRONG AND COSY
The flagship model that everyone agreed on is the Luxembourg collection. Designed by Frédéric Sofia, it was adapted for the Hôtel Dieu, in different versions to go with the different spaces, and always with a surprising design!
Strong and cosy: “that could have been written into the specifications!” says Patrick Muller, speaking of these two words. “We wanted models that were not too heavy, and Luxembourg furniture is made up of aluminium models that are very light”.
“The cosy touch comes from the patented silencing pads, which divide noise on hard floors by a factor of three”.
The objective is to emphasize the architecture of the places, and to adapt to all the terraces. 24 colours: how frustrating it was, because we needed only one! In the end, Anthracite was chosen unanimously! A slightly metallic hue for its chic effect, with small particles of mother-of-pearl in the paint to catch the light and draw attention to the furniture, highlighting its curves: Luxembourg moved onto all the Hotel Dieu terraces, appealing immensely with its style and character. It fits in with its decor and responds naturally and remarkably to the aesthetics of the façade, made of Villebois stone. For Bernard Reybier, “The star is the place and the space, so the armchair must both speak to people and have its own personality, while remaining discreet”.
Luxembourg has been personalized with the Grand Hotel Dieu logo to make it into a model as unique as the location itself, and Patrick Muller even calls it “the totem of the city”.
A FULFILLING PARTNERSHIP
It’s a deal! The two directors have just had an unforgettable experience! “We didn’t go down the road of nostalgia or history. We turned to modernism, and the result is timeless elegance. The modern-classic cocktail is very successful, with an absolutely exceptional attention to detail. All those who worked on this project will remember it as long as they live; that’s for sure”.
And the result is there. The Grand Hotel Dieu really is place of pleasures, French style… and Fermob style!