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: to restore the Payne Whitney House, a major work of architect Stanford White, to its Gilded Age splendor by reviving the opulence of a New York mansion on Fifth Avenue, without resorting to pastiche, but on the contrary by infusing it with a contemporary spirit using precious materials; to re-establish the essence and soul of the place by evoking a vanished architecture that is nevertheless known thanks to archival photos. In the Ballroom we created false bays and transoms which, together with the eglomerate glass pilasters, give back a structure to the room which was completely devoid of them. Ceiling and cornice were harmonized in the Marbleroom, as for the grand staircase, we restored the calepinage and the patina of the walls, the staff cornice and finally took back the false 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