It is something of a feat to be the coolest example of anything in Paris, which could certainly be a contender for the coolest city in the world regardless. Yet the door which opens up to number 29 Avenue Rapp is, we believe, the coolest door in Paris. See if you agree.
Situated in the 7th district of Paris, Avenue Rapp was named after the famous French General, Jean Rapp, who distinguished himself in the Egyptian Campaign of 1801. However, number 29 - or the Lavirotte Building as it is known – is a lasting testament to its creator, architect Jules Aimé Lavirotte.
Lavirotte’s work is flamboyant to say the least and is perhaps the epitome of the free spirit of the art nouveau movement. It is not surprising that his facade for number 29 won him several prizes when it was built in 1901. Even by the standards of the day, this is lavish.
Although Lavirotte was responsible for the entire building, he did not, however, produce the doorway. The exotic and somewhat ostentatious frame was designed by sculptor Jean-Baptiste Larrive, and sculpted by a quartet - Sporrer, Firmin-Marcelin Michelet, and Alfred Jean Halou.
Looking every inch as if it should be the doorway in to the domicile of some vampire protagonist of an Anne Rice novel, the entrance to number 29 Avenue Rapp is an exquisite example of an art movement in full flow. The coolest doorway in Paris? We think so!