The underside of the restoration of the Hôtel de Bourrienne

The Hôtel de Bourrienne, the rebirth of an exceptional heritage

I fell in love immediately: this is what I felt during my first visit to the Hôtel de Bourrienne, five years ago. In the vibrating din of the 10th arrondissement, the poetry of 58, rue d'Hauteville immediately took effect. In the shade of a magnificent Judas tree, who can't be seduced by this house? There, the decor steeped in history declines a palette of strangely current colors, the perspective of the row of lounges with ideal proportions captures all eyes […] The Hôtel de Bourrienne embodies the effervescence of the Directory and this appetite for life which succeeded the Terror. testimonial by Charles Beigbeder, French entrepreneur and new owner of the Hôtel de Bourrienne.

The Hôtel de Bourrienne, a window on the history of France

With a rich history, the Hôtel de Bourrienne has seen some of the most illustrious men and women in the history of France pass through it: Bonaparte, Talleyrand, Chateaubriand, Joséphine de Beauharnais, Thérésa Tallien … So many emblematic figures whose spirit and art of living never cease to inspire the world of Bourrienne Paris X.

From its construction in the late 1780s to its recent restoration, the Hôtel de Bourrienne has lost none of its essence. Rare witnesses of the Directoire and Consulate styles, the decorations that adorn the various lounges, bedrooms and boudoir are the initiative of the first two owners of this private mansion, Fortunée Hamelin, a Wonderful du Directoire, and Louis-Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, former personal adviser to the First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Over the years, the Hôtel de Bourrienne has undergone some alterations. However, the elaborate decorations from the end of the 18th century have been miraculously preserved under the layers of varnish and other wallpaper. This is how we can still enjoy, even today, the delicate marquetry and bas-reliefs with mythological scenes that testify to the renewed interest in ancient civilizations, characteristic of the tastes of the time from which the hotel originates. .

Restoration entrusted to heritage experts

Classified as a historical monument in 1927, the maintenance of this place requires significant investment. Unable to maintain and perpetuate this architectural gem, the former owner, Mrs. Monié, sold this hotel to Mr. Beigbeder, a great history buff, who wanted to preserve this exceptional heritage.

“I was looking for a place that had a soul in which to set up our offices, also hosting start-ups and Parisian club-style events. Bourrienne immediately seduced me four years ago, even though it was not really for sale. Since then, there have been many difficulties, we had to learn what a historical monument was, but we are making progress. We should be within the walls at the end of the year” Charles Beigbeder confides to the journalist of the magazine “Point de Vue”, in 2018.

Despite the difficulties, the French contractor embarked on restoration work. To do this, he called on the 2BDM agency, which specializes in the restoration of historical monuments.Created in 2010 in Paris, this agency was born from the association of four chief architects of Historic Monuments: Christophe Batard, Christophe Bottineau, Frédéric Didier and Jacques Moulin This agency today brings together experts in architecture, but also in the history of art, engineering, construction economics and landscaping. With nearly 70 people in its team, the 2BDM agency is today the largest private structure in France dedicated to historical heritage.

The renovation of the Hôtel de Bourrienne was entrusted to Christophe Bottineau in 2015. This chief architect of Historic Monuments had the opportunity to supervise the restoration of emblematic places in Paris such as the Palais Royal, the Palais de Justice, the Sainte Chapelle but also the hotels of Aumont and Sully in the Marais. According to him, the restoration of the Hôtel de Bourrienne “was a real intellectual and technical challenge which is now part of the emblematic operations of our office [2BDM, ndlr]” .

The restoration of a historic monument

The challenge of this restoration was truly to restore the past splendor of this private mansion. A long research work was necessary to get as close as possible to what Hamelin and Bourrienne knew during their lifetime. The restorers relied on writings and archives published during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Once the documentary base had been compiled, the teams carried out stratigraphic surveys, a technique making it possible to identify the successive layers of paint on a wall, for example, to date them, as well as analyzes under ultraviolet light. The information thus collected was then used to make graphic reconstructions. This research upstream of the site led to the discovery of many treasures, hidden under layers of wallpaper, such as the tapestries on the second floor, revealing a perfectly preserved Art Nouveau decor.

To carry out the restoration, many trades were requisitioned: stonemasons, sculpture restorers, ironworkers, carpenters, restorers of painted decorations, upholsterers as well as craftsmen specialized in the restoration of chandeliers.

Special attention has been paid to the restoration of the heritage spaces on the ground floor. The tent-like painted decoration of the vestibule has been restored. In the dining room, the small living room, the large living room and the bedroom, the walls and ceilings have found brighter colors, discovered under more innocuous layers of paint or varnish. The boudoir, already restored a few years earlier, has only been refreshed. Dominant shades of blue and beige, subtly varied from one room to another, assert themselves better than in the past. The garden has been completely replanted respecting the original English layout. The upper floors have been renovated in a modern way, making them suitable for hosting the offices of Mr. Beigbeder's various holding companies.However, the library on the top floor and the room with tapestries have remained in the spirit of the time
In total, more than 8.5 million euros will be invested in order to save this incredible heritage that represents the Bourrienne hotel.

At the crossroads of professions, the Hôtel de Bourrienne showcases artistic know-how in all its forms. Whether restoring the hotel or designing white shirts, attention to detail and expertise are key to the perfection we strive for.