The Maison de Beauté Carita has been a go-to for international style-setters in Paris since its creation in 1945, attracting an A-list of the famous and the aristocratic. And this meant that the transformation of Carita’s Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré building by Cristiano Benzoni and Sophie Thuillier, founders of REV/STUDIO, had to be something special.
Their redesign included stairs that rose and crossed the atrium at three levels. ‘It was necessary to create a monumental, spectacular, memorable space that begins as soon as you walk in through the famous portico,’ said the architects.
We knew that the steel stairs we created had to meet the architects’ central design philosophy: ‘We are not at all “less is more”. We would rather be “more with less”.’ And that meant that the stairs had to have an outstanding purity of line and detail, and give the impression of being light and airy under the atrium’s glass canopy.
We made and installed the steel stair structures – which also have elegant leather and stone elements – with great care. And, in the process, we solved a big aesthetic and structural challenge: the stair design required two-piece balusters in an artisanal style.
Normally, this would be straightforward – except that the architects asked for invisible welds. In other words, welds that are very strong, but virtually seamless. And our team achieved this by using two types of welding very precisely: TIG welds for seamlessness and MIG welds for structural security.
Cristiano Benzoni and Sophie Thuillier have an interesting saying that makes perfect sense to us: ‘The desirable thing that works is the one that differentiates.’ We very much hope that our staircase at the Maison de Beauté Carita expresses exactly that idea.