Du Grand Bazar de l’Hôtel de ville au BHV Marais

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The BHV, or Grand Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville, holds a special place in the daily life of Parisians. It is undoubtedly the favorite, but above all it is there that one can trace the thread of this art of living revered throughout the world.

Authors : Florence Brachet, Maud Allera, Stephanie Desvaux

Publisher : Assouline

Date of Release : Octobre 2016

“Paris is a big village where the BHV is the market place”.
La Presse, 5 February 1957

Founded in 1856 by François Xavier Ruel, a bimbelotier from Annonay, the Grand Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville is now one of the capital’s leading stores. True to the bazaar spirit, the shop very soon opened its shelves to increasingly varied specialities – from DIY to tableware, from beauty to fashion.

A place of inspiration for many artists who bought there or diverted the objects on display, the shop is closely associated with Marcel Duchamp and his invention of the ready-made. This link with artists and creation is still alive. With Auguste Roy’s famous rotunda, and the expansion work that has punctuated the building’s history, the BHV firmly anchors its silhouette in the Marais – one of the most lively places in the capital. Through its architectural imprint as well as its economic activity, it is today a place of life that is inseparable from the district whose name it has taken.