Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States

After restoring the Venetian Room On the first floor, the Atelier de Ricou won a call for projects launched by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in 2020 for the renovation of the reception rooms (Ballroom and Marbleroom) and the grand staircase.

Our proposal was as follows: restore the Payne Whitney House, a major work by architect Stanford White, to its Gilded Age splendor by reviving the opulence of a New York mansion on 5th Avenue, without resorting to pastiche but, on the contrary, infusing it with a contemporary spirit using precious materials; restore the essence and soul of the place by evoking a vanished architecture that is nonetheless known thanks to archive photos. In the Ballroom, we created false bays and transoms which, combined with eglomised glass pilasters, give structure to a room that was completely devoid of it. Ceiling and cornice were harmonized in the Marbleroom, while on the grand staircase, we restored the calepinage and patina of the walls, the staff cornice and, finally, the faux-marble of the stringboard.

For this project, all the skills of the workshop were called upon: technical drawings, molding and plaster printing, glass and mirror work, gilding, faux-marble, patina, marouflage, painting on textile (curtains), creation of lanterns ... In an extraordinary context that was the health crisis, the maximum of works were made in France: backgrounds of the walls on canvas, pilasters, false bays, transoms, lanterns ... The whole was then assembled in several phases between 2020 and 2021.

The project of renovation of the Reception Rooms of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York was finalist of the NYCxDESIGN Award in the Civic/Institutional category.

Year 2020 - 2021
Place Manhattan, New York
Project owner Cultural Services of the French embassy
Design and realization Ricou Workshop