Discover the new face of “Manu”, the future Hermès leather goods store in Riom (Puy-de-Dôme)

“We make beautiful buildings, because we make beauty in beauty”, remarked Friday September 9, Guillaume de Seynes, quoting his uncle, Jean-Louis Dumas, former leader of the Hermès group from 1978 to 2006.

Microphone in hand near the former Manufacture des Tabacs de Riom, the Managing Director of the Upstream Division and holdings of the Hermès group did not fail to point out the atypical character in the creation of this new leather goods, including the opening to some 250 employees is estimated at January 2024.

With the opening of a second Hermès leather goods site in Riom, Puy-de-Dôme is moving upmarket

“Each project has its own personality. Here, what is especially interesting is the architectural aspect. This is the second time after Héricourt in Haute-Saône that we are working on industrial wasteland. It’s always an interesting exercise, with constraints that are doubled by the fact that it’s a listed building. »

More than 6,000 documents on the site identified

The site was built in 1907 for Building I alone and between 1932 and 1936 for Building X. The latter was decommissioned in 1975 before being saved from oblivion by street graffiti artists Rino and Cofee. With frescoes and spray paint, they transform it into “Sainte-Manu”. Building X has the particularity of having been built by the company Zublin & Perrière, which specializes in reinforced concrete infrastructures, giving it a unique architectural dimension and registration as a Historic Monument since 2004. “We have more than 6,000 documents on the site”, explains the architectural firm Tracks Architects in charge, with ABDPA, of giving a new face to the old manufacturing site without distorting it.“We had to find solutions to have a new face, respecting the original parts, working within the capable envelope of the building,” note these architects specializing in heritage. The architectural project of the leather goods thus obeys several guidelines falling within the eco-responsible approach desired by the house of Hermès: “Strongly limit the artificialization of surfaces; choose local partner companies; source and use sustainable materials for renovation.

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The inclusion in an existing building invites to compose and highlight the heritage that is an integral part of the history of the city and to preserve the collective memory.

A hall like an Italian theater

Presented on panels on the occasion of the official ceremony of laying the first stone, last Friday, the project, with an area of ​​more than 7,000 m², is characterized first of all by a reception hall, very bright and clear with its large windows, “a crossroads of flow, a meeting place like an Italian theatre”, describe its designers.

“Proud to welcome Hermès to Riom”: the installation of a leather goods shop à la “Manu” seduces local residents and elected officials in Riom

On the 1st and 2nd floors of the “Manu”, large platforms where, as on the first leather goods site of Sayat built in 2004, will be located the workshops bringing together in the same place cut, work tables and machines. Here again, the primary structure of the building is exploited, with the original floor preserved. “We made several tests of sanding slabs”, describe the architects during the site visit.

A walkway between buildings

Between these three spaces, a large atrium which, from floor to ceiling, will represent 12 meters in height. Finally, the last strategic point on the first floors, a footbridge will once again link buildings I and X. “We are going to restore a link that no longer existed in order to allow more fluid circulation”, underline the architects. A neighboring building I where an interior courtyard will also be created.
Ultimate discovery of the future leather goods of Hermès, its third floor where its reinforced concrete frame is revealed. The cover will be resumed with insulated roof boxes. This will also make it possible to create a glass roof “with an incredible view on both sides of the city and the chain of puys”, underline the architects.

Here again, the recycling of materials is highlighted as well as work on natural ventilation and in a transversal way. Enough to make a beautiful building that will not forget to be virtuous.

Facilities. Nine leather goods stores since 2010. Since 2010, Hermès has opened nine leather goods stores in France, bringing the number of saddler-leather craftsmen within the group to more than 4,300. Four other manufacturing projects are underway in Louviers (Eure), Tournes-Cliron (Ardennes), L’Isle-d’Espagnac (Charente) and Loupes (Gironde).

Beginnings under Napoleon III before the break-up of the 1970s

It’s in 1862 that begins the history of the site of the Manufacture des tabacs de Riom. On this date, Eugène Rouher, a minister from Rio, made the proposal to set up a factory in his hometown during a visit from Napoleon III.

Between 1877 and 1883, two buildings will be built, the A and Q, by the engineer Dargnies, assisted by engineers from the Central Service for the Construction of State Manufactures. A model form on the basis of which were built in particular the factories of Châteauroux (1856-1863), Dijon (1880) and Issy-les-Moulineaux (1900-1904).

A new addition to the site is being made in 1907 with the construction of buildings H, I, R, S. Buildings R and S are used for the unloading of raw materials along the railway tracks. In addition to the store, a new expansion comes after 1925.Between 1932 and 1936, is the construction of building X, parallel to bars B and C. A project carried out by the company Zublin & Perrière, specializing in reinforced concrete infrastructure. In 1966, Building X was extended.

The industrial history of the site ends in 1975, when it was decommissioned with the construction of a new factory in the Riom-La Varenne industrial zone. This is the old “Seita”, taken over by the Bacacier company. The Manu site was finally acquired by Riom Communauté in Altadis in 2004then sold to the private promoter Sogimm.

Between 2005 and 2012, a first phase of rehabilitation is carried out, followed by cleaning and demolition of buildings, the creation of rue Maurice-Berger and the requalification of public spaces. Left unused, building X was bought by RLV in September 2020 and resold, at the end of last June, to Hermès.

Francois Jaulhac
[email protected]

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