Grand Hotel du Midi - Montpellier (Francia)

Super et génial

A unique and poetic renovation project has given a new lease of life to a historic hotel in the centre of Montpellier
Elena Pasoli
Julie Gauthron

Located in the heart of Montpellier, Place de la Comédie is the nerve centre of the French city whose university can count such famous figures as the poet Petrarch amongst its alumni. It is in this square, by the Fountain of the Three Graces, that people always arrange to meet. And it is here that since 1876 an elegant Haussmann building has been home to the Grand Hôtel du Midi, an icon of the city that offers a splendid view over the square from the legendary balcony of room 101.
After being purchased from the Maranatha group in 2013, the property recently underwent a major renovation that established it amongst the elite of the Châteaux & Hôtels Collection. The project was assigned to Julie Gauthron – a multitalented Parisian artist, stage designer, architect and interior designer who has worked at Disneyland Paris – who created a perfect blend of history, classicism and modernity.
Gauthron drew inspiration from the extraordinary context of the Opera House to create a uniquely magical, theatrical atmosphere. „I wanted to emphasise the value of the building’s Haussmann architecture and link it to contemporary dance, a field in which Montpellier is world famous,“ Gauthron explained. For more than thirty years, Montpellier has hosted the Montpellier Danse festival, which welcomes the world’s most important international choreographers in the fields of ballet and contemporary and traditional dance. The entire interior design project reflects this poetic theme, evoking a dance with decorative and choreographic movements and offering a splendid tribute to contemporary dance.
The rooms are inspired by four different themes and feature custom-designed furniture with curved, moving lines. An extraordinary artist and architect, Gauthron has displayed an astonishing ability to link every detail of the interior design to the city’s cultural identity, keeping the hotel’s soul alive without succumbing to the allure of the latest colour trends such as white, taupe and grey. Instead she has opted for a masterful combination of vibrant colours that appear to intertwine in a mesmerising dance. Red and plum, green and bronze, blue and grey, yellow and black alternate on headboards that evoke jumping figures, outlines of bodies that dance on the shelves or are carved into the foot of a table. This explosion of curves and colours is elegantly underscored by the Materia Project porcelain tiles from Florim’s brand Casamood which were chosen for the entire renovation project. This highly innovative collection combines ceramic and glass in an extremely diverse yet fully integrated range of creative solutions. The clean lines, bold colours and painterly chiaroscuro effects, the elegant decors and the wealth of tactile sensations do full justice to the complexity of Julie Gauthron’s project, lending a sense of space to the rooms while maintaining the typically French eccentricity that pervades the ambiences.
The result is a respectful and innovative interior design that spans different art forms.

Materia Project
40x80, 60x60 cm + decor

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