Rene Lalique moved in 1902 to a new residence and workshop at 40 Cours la Reine in Paris. The building was a renovation totaling five floors. The first two floors were show and retail space for Lalique’s expanding business. There was also Lalique’s workshop and Lalique’s residence above.
It was here, that Lalique installed what might be his first and most important architectural statement; the famous Lalique glass panel doors. The doors consisted of glass panels set in a metal frame.
These doors contain a design of pinecones and branches with each panel being a different part of the picture. The relief glass design of the doors continues from the glass panels onto the exterior of the building. It’s also echoed in the railings that rim the windows of the residence!
Lalique died at the age of 85 in this same house 43 years later as World War II was coming to and end.
Over a century later, the doors remain a quiet yet iconic reminder of the creativity, foresight, and design talent of Rene Lalique. And as Nicholas Dawes notes in his standard reference work “Lalique Glass”, this single creative element incorporated into the exterior decor of his own shop and residence, may have been responsible for many future architectural commissions as potential clients came to the shop and experienced the wonder of the great glass panel doors.
If you are in Paris though, you may have trouble finding the doors at 40 Cours la Reine. Why? Because the street has been renamed to 40 Cour d’Albert!
But worry not if you cannot find or cannot go!
We have found a good-humored guy from the east coast, Richard Nahem, who now lives in Paris and who loves to take photos. Richard has taken some great detailed pictures of the former Lalique residence including the famous Lalique Glass doors. So we thought it would be great to share this bit of Lalique architectural history with you as shown through those photos
By the way, Richard runs a very entertaining and informative blog about life in Paris, aptly named eyepreferparis.com! Of course, if this writer were penning a location touting blog, it would likely be named EyePreferHangingOutAtWorldHeadquarters.com!
And lest you be left in wonder, yes, World Headquarters is not without it’s own great glass and metal work door. Notice all the similarities? The great Lalique doors have glass and our door has glass. The great Lalique doors have metal and our door has metal. The Lalique doors open and close and our door opens and closes. Pretty similar right? It’s almost freaky the number of things the World Headquarter door has in common with the Lalique doors. Too bad it can’t hold a candle to* the work of the great Rene Lalique 🙂 Hmmmmm…..
*”Can’t hold a candle to” is an expression from the days before electric lights. When a person had to do some work in the dark, it might require a helper to hold a candle to illuminate the work area. Simple job, holding the candle. Of course, if your skill level or attention level or work ethic was so low that you could not properly perform the task of holding the candle it would put you in a negative light (no pun intended on the light thing). Anyway, can’t hold a candle to whatever, became a phrase to denote low talent or low worthiness by comparison to something else.
For example, there is no website in the world about Rene Lalique and his works that can hold a candle to RLalique.com! Don’t know how we thought up this great example, it just popped in our heads!
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