For 60 years the Molitor were the most popular swimming baths in Paris. In 1989, the Molitor closed and was declared a historical monument. Over time the dilapidated building became a favorite haunt of graffiti artists and a hang-out for the Paris Underground. Hoping to once again become an inspirational place for the artistic and cultural community, the Molitor has re-opened with a beautiful overhaul.
France’s Molitor Baths Become a Hip Hotel
How the restoration came about:
Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor of Paris from March 2001 to April 2014, undertook a commitment: that the Molitor pool should reopen. The Paris mayor’s office launched its call for projects in 2007; three groupings were contenders and it was colony capital’s bid which was selected a few months later. Led by Sebastien Bazin, the team brings together colony capital, accor, bouygues and four architects.
above: the Molitor Swimming Baths during their heyday
In charge of historical matters, the architecture firm of Perrot & Richard conducted an authentic investigation to find the colours, measurements, signage and original materials in the damaged concrete and under the layers of paint that had accumulated over time.
From the closure of the Molitor in 1989 until its renovation, the dilapidated structure was covered with graffiti
Jacques Rougerie, an enthusiast of the marine environment and an inventor of transaquatic environments, was asked for his opinion on the renovation of the pools and for the unique design of a venue of urban vitality but which is bathed in water.
The Derbesse firm coordinated all the work and designed the raising of the building to house the guest rooms. Transparent, straight as a die, it complements the building while respecting its original appearance.
above: the Molitor Winter Pool before and after restoration:
Finally, Jean-Philippe Nuel was the Molitor interior designer. He imagined a journey in which eras interact with one another, from the birth of swimming baths in the 1930s to the present.
The Molitor has hosted galas, parades and performance since 1929 and when closed became a blank canvas for artistic expression. Now, with its non-profit association Poolartlife, they plan to host art, music, fashion, cinema, think tanks and more for their guests. Molitor will be the platform which they artists meet and exchange. During the remodeling work, and with the approval of Magda Danysz, the gallery owner, the great names of 50 years of urban art have continued to use Molitor’s walls throughout the project.
Above: The Poolartlife Association preserves Molitor’s heritage and assigns a grant which was first used for the production of 42 lithographs in 10 copies, exhibited in the guest rooms and available for sale. These are the first works of a collection which will include, in the long term, a lithograph for each of the 124 rooms.
The Lobby and Cantona’s Rolls Royce:
Two days before the opening the “Cantona’s Rolls Royce”, customized by the artist Jonone, was installed in the lobby on Friday, 16 May, 2014. The actor and footballer Eric Cantona donated this 1984 Corniche to the Abbé Pierre Foundation after the graffiti artist Jonone had painted it live on the set of Le Grand Journal, Canal+, in November 2012. It was auctioned by Artcurial in January 2013 and the proceeds of the sale went in full to the Foundation to fund projects for homeless shelters.
The Molitor Hotel:
Whether you are a long-standing Molitor Club member or a traveler to Paris in search of the unusual, the 104 guest rooms and 20 suites are the best way to feel at home and to experience moments outside time and the city, in a place of vibrant creativity. These are cocoons of simple and sleek décor, that combine the essentials with the pleasures of a comfortable 5 star hotel. They offer all services expected by both business and leisure customers and the room service is designed by the house of chefs. Each room also displays one of the 42 lithographs edited for Molitor.
The Molitor has 104 rooms and 20 suites managed by McGallery. Guests have access to both pools, a dedicated fitness room, spa, restaurant and bar.
The two pools are open weekdays and weekends with exclusive access to club members, hotel guests and school 3 mornings a week.
A Summer Pool measuring 46 meters and surrounded by beaches:
A Winter Pool measuring 33 meters and sheltered by a huge glass roof:
The Molitor Clarins Spa:
The Molitor Spa by Clairins has 13 booths including two 50m private suites. The Molitor Spa experience includes custom treatments, herbal tea room steam rooms, saunas, a library, a hair salon and a barber.
Born of the imagination of multi-star chef Yannick Alleno, Molitor’s dining spaces are lifestyles in themselves and make the restaurant a urban gastronomy venue. The restaurant overlooks the summer pool and has established an inter-generational vision of food. A virtuous encounter between a “new generation” chef and the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (winners of the best workers in France award) who are invited for each season. Together, they interpret a culinary duo, and they each compose, in their own way, their chosen menus in which their technical expertise and their visions of gastronomy are brought together around french cuisine. A “house of chefs” has therefore been created, with cross-fertilization of talents who can express themselves and inspire one another.
The restaurant, open to all, offers 80 places in the dining room and 30 places outside. The service is open every day with brunch on Sundays. Club members have access to the quota of permanently reserved tables.
The Molitor Bar:
The bar is open to everyone, but Club members have a special area reserved for them.
Le Club de Molitor is an exclusive private club with access to the pools, spa, sports hall, bar, restaurant and roof terrace. The rooftop terrace, which has an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, is for Club members only.
One can visit and use the Pools, the Restaurant and the Spa without being a club member or a guest.