Hôtel de Sers



"Mixing the Ghosts of the 1880's with the Spirit of 2004" - Stephen Treffinger, The New York Times, September 16, 2004

The agency VIDALENC ARCHITECTES was appointed in 2002 to build a contemporary hotel where the Queen Elizabeth hotel used to stand, just a few steps away from the avenue Georges V and the Champs-Elysées.

The hotel had then a disparate look: the buildings that make it up have gone through several extensions, additions and modifications over the last decades, and the only thing they have in common is their lack of coherence and overview.

Before designing the new facility, the agency VIDALENC ARCHITECTES examined the existing building, starting with the principle that any restructuration or creation must be based on a deep understanding of the place.

The remains of an ancient and monumental staircase led to the reconstitution of the architectural destiny of the Marquis Charles-Léopold de Sers’ hotel particulier, built in 1886.

The design of the new hotel is based on the valorisation of the original private mansion. The most significant and imposing spaces of the two first floors, although damaged by successive changes and subdivisions, were brought back to their former glory.

Apart from the reconstitution, VIDALENC ARCHITECTES also focused on organising the future hotel, integrating all the elements that would make it work: technical installations, staff facilities, etc.

This global restructuration allowed the building to be reinforced, and also provided a global coherence. The net surface area of the construction was raised to 4000 m² thanks to the excavation of platforms and the construction, at the end of the plot, of a smaller building dedicated to the new hotel's management services.

By their modernity, the public spaces that were created – reception area, restaurant, bar, spa, sauna, hammam, gym and massage rooms – opened a dialogue with the historical ones, and both styles are now bringing each other out. History and modernity meet in a wooden gate that symbolises great open walls.

Each room/bathroom was designed as a coherent volume, offering a feeling of evidence and tranquillity to the traveller. By using very few materials – rosewood, grey stone, white reconstituted marble and earthenware -, the new hotel differentiates itself from the pouncing patterns of the luxury hotel business, mainly based on emphasis and imitation.

The new building opened in 2004 after 18 months of works. It was simply and naturally called HOTEL DE SERS, a name that provides the new owner a unique visibility.

The HOTEL DE SERS has been one of the most published French hotels of the 2000s, by professional hotel publishing agencies but also by construction and general ones.