Over and above technical performances which seek to measure, order and control time, Hermès dares to explore another time. “We want to awaken a playful relationship with time through an object that is true to its function, explains Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès Artistic Director. We create timepieces stemming from the mastery of numerous skills and reflecting a serene perspective on time/serene vision of time.” Hermès watches are objects that arouse wonderment. Combining mastery of technical innovations and the sensuality of the relationship with the body and movement, they embody the values of the Maison.
On behalf of Hermès, Denis Montel, from the RDAI interior architecture agency, has designed a warm, sophisticated, contemporary setting. The furniture offers a unique journey on which sound, colour and light promotes serenity.
Visitors are welcomed by a vast atrium with maplewood screens. Steles studding the slatted inside walls serve as showcases. Each watch is revealed in a glass cube. More private spaces, spread out like a second skin, enable personalised discussions introducing the various models composing the collection. An enclosed theatre, in which the tiers are covered in Hermès fabric, is used for press conferences and presentations.
At the heart of the layout, an installation by Dutch artist, Levi Van Veluw offers visitors a chance to share an emotion akin to a ritual. Inside the low-tech square display windows evoking the shape of the famous Hermès silk scarves, he develops nine interactive animations. Visitors activate little mechanisms which, via a set of pistons and gears, bring to life a spectacular monolith in the centre of the atrium. A building machine offering everyone a timeless experience, an emotion-filled journey on the theme of “time, a Hermès object”.
For Hermès, time is also an object. Its inherent tension is translated by the house into a singular characteristic. Rather than measuring, ordering, and seeking to control it, Hermès dares to explore another time, designed to arouse emotions, open up interludes and create spaces for spontaneity and recreation.
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