Cartier "Cité du Retiro"
A precious gem in the heart of Paris’ historical centre, the Cartier offices designed by Ricardo Bofill reveal rigorous design through their translucent elevations. The interior spaces, at times austere and at others in bold ruby red, all have uniform flooring with regular geometry created by diamond wire.
In the former case, the grey sandstone is a harmonious continuity of colour, softening any glare or dark shadows; in the second, more typical of the communal areas, it becomes a kind of blackboard upon which to write with brightly coloured chalks and light effects. The thin joints barely mark the flooring grid. The intercession of piers and furnishings never interfere with the clean-cut horizontal plane.
The fluid hues of the horizontal sandstone planes blend perfectly with the enamelled glazing characterising many of the building’s walls.
The solution of the stone floors as a continuation of the external paving is repeated on the various levels, always accompanied by enormous quantities of natural light which penetrate through the glazing, refracting upon the horizontal and vertical planes of the interior in unexpected ways. The use of stone in the planes produces a silent and elegant connection amongst the urban elements as well as those of the office building.
A big name in contemporary architecture, Ricardo Bofill has always stood out for his particular interest in the stylistic code consolidated in the architecture of places, openly reinterpreted and re-proposed in Post-modern style. Here, French tradition in the application of metal and siliceous mixtures have the upper hand over any interference of local vocabulary, simply reflected by the glazed surfaces.