The emblematic address of the Carita house in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré has been given a makeover. A rehabilitation project that required more than two years of work and was carried out by the REV studio, formed by the French-Italian architectural duo Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni.
Founded in 1946 by sisters Maria and Rosy Carita, the beauty house Carita – a member of the L’Oreal group since 2014 – has been caring for everyone who walks through its doors for over 70 years. Located at 11 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré since 1952, this emblematic address had been put on hold for two years while rehabilitation work was carried out. Under the direction of the REV studio, which was chosen to take charge of the project, the new Carita house offers an experience that is in keeping with the brand’s heritage. “We wanted to work on an understated luxury system, working the architecture in a way that offered an identity that was noble.”
A total restructuring project
For this restructuring, the whole architecture of the place was rethought, starting with its entrance. About ten meters long, this alley, which turns out to be a former building courtyard, deserved to be apprehended differently. Starting with the constraint of not having a window on the street as other signs can have, the architects of the studio REV wanted to reverse this trend and imagine a solution so that this distance before arriving at the store is shorter, and attracts the customer to the interior. They created this arch to “make the store feel like it starts from the porch. Our desire was to intrigue and draw customers in from the moment they enter,”says Sophie Thuillier.
Overview of the store space on the first floor of the beauty house © Benoit Linero
Entrance porch of Carita's iconic address © Benoit Linero
The five-story beauty house is a kind of architectural walk. The play of light and shadow created by the 777 pellets of the custom-made chandelier that overhangs the place, match the rest of the architecture of the place. “We wanted to invite as much light as possible into the space and work with it as a material in its own right,” explains Cristiano Benzoni. Black and white are the dominant colors, in order to stay true to the brand’s identity. However, points of pale pink (in reference to the flesh color of the skin), have been added subtly to bring a touch of sensuality and elegance.
An environmental commitment
If the initial project was to rethink the place, the architects of the REV studio took care to adopt a CSR approach, through the use of recycled materials, such as the reuse of 80% of the rubble recovered after demolition. Thus, the majority of the materials used are natural, geosourced and sustainable over time. Similarly, all the partners involved in the project are themselves committed and were chosen specifically for this reason.
Hair salon area © Benoit Linero
And this commitment extends beyond the construction site, as work was also done on the lighting to save energy. Also, the Carita Beauty House will benefit from the “Water Saver Portfolio” technology, to reduce water consumption through the installation of the innovative “showerhead”, the result of a partnership between L’Oréal and Gjosa. The latter will equip all the shampoo basins in the salon area and will save up to 60% of water!
Restaurant le Rosy, directed by the chef Amandine Choignon © Benoit Linero
Customized service, just like at home
Apart from this architectural aspect, the Carita beauty house is above all a unique treatment experience. Each floor of the salon offers a different service to meet the needs of each client. Indeed, the Faubourg Saint-Honoré address is equipped with a boutique, a hair salon, a space dedicated to the look, 11 cabins – one of which is double – allowing the best treatments to be given in complete privacy and the Rosy restaurant, run by the chef Amandine Choignon.
The private suite on the 5th floor of the beauty house © Benoit Linero
Another prestigious service of the place: the availability of a beauty apartment that customers can privatize for a day or a few hours… Everything is possible. “We wanted to create a transition that was as fluid as possible for each space so as not to have the feeling of being in a classic boutique. Because there is nothing classic about the Carita beauty house,” conclude Sophie Thuillier and Cristiano Benzoni.