The renewal of a department store in the heart of Metz Located Place de la République, the Galeries Lafayette building has undergone a real transformation on, symbol of the city center’s metamorphosis in Metz and realized by architect Manuelle Gautrand.
Reflecting the economic and social changes of the 19th century, the Department Stores, through their commercial and architectural boldness, are a part of the history of a city. In Metz, the Galeries Lafayette have then been a vector of the city’s image, contributing to its touristic and commercial dynamic and successively reflecting its different times.
Built in the 1980’s, the building – a true landmark in Metz – had to evolve in order to adapt to the new values of the Galeries Lafayette and to become a reference, both on the commercial and on the architectural level. Singular and remarkable element in the urban landscape of the city, the architect has focused on this urban scale of the building and referred to the symbolic aspect of Department Stores to give it a new image and identity.
Clothed in a stone facade, relatively cold and without any window or opening - except in its lower part – the existing building had entrances and vitrines that were not very generous. In order to transform the image of this building, visible from the other side of the square and to turn it into a signal or landmark for passersby, the architect decided to preserve the stone façade, with interest ng classical ornamental features and to concentrate on its lower part, space where the public circulates.