WHERE ALL PARIS ARTISANS WORK NOW: Chanel's New 19M Métiers d’Art Headquarters
Text by Justin Ng | Photos courtesy of Chanel
Chanel's 19M, a 25,500 sqm facility in Paris soon home to 600 artisans renowned for pleating, embroidery, millinery and more
The Rudy Ricciotti-designed structure is built on 9,000m² of land at the Porte d’Aubervilliers
Night rendering of the Chanel 19M
Le 19M will also be home to an agora, 1,200 m² of space devoted to meeting, sharing and dialogue
The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said that, “An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.” Over a hundred years later, his wise hypothesis remains vindictively supported: Chanel, just recently, unveiled the structure of its new 19M building in the northeast corner of Paris that will soon be home to over 600 artisans. Designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti – who pioneered the cuboid Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations – the facility stretches over 25,500 square meters of Parisian space at Place Skanderbeg in order to combine a revered group of Chanel specialist companies to expertly supply our métiers needs (think embroidery and pearls to couture and high-end ready-to-wear houses). And as you pass by it during your rush hour commute through the trafficky Périphérique ring road in Aubervilliers, you’ll pretty much notice it right away: Triangular, sleek and draped with a visual plethora of concrete threads 24-meters high emblematic of its French savoir-faire. And with its establishment as the heart of fashion in the neighborhood, there’s a diverse sense of promise to it too: Imagine artisans, students and lovers of art in the neighborhood all meeting together in celebration of French savoir-faire – some dating back to the mid-19th century – at a time where it’s become increasingly necessary to protect and hone these unique abilities. It’s all quite romantic, really. Of course, it must be noted (before our Paris romanticism carries us too far) that 19M still has a year’s worth of work before completion. So in the meantime, some of the Métiers d’Art brands will stay put in its existing building in the area. But when it does, Chanel just might be sparking an artisan renaissance in this once-forgotten corner of Paris.


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