6 May 2024 By Jonathan

Exploring Haussmann Apartments: Unveiling an Extraordinary Blend of Architectural Beauty and Real Estate Legacy


When we talk about the charm and elegance of Parisian architecture, Haussmannian apartments are often cited as an example. These majestic buildings, constructed under the direction of Baron Eugène Haussmann during the 19th century, shaped the current face of the French capital and remain highly sought-after real estate today. But what makes these apartments so special? Why are they considered safe investments? And how can they be modernized while still retaining their classic charm? Let’s dive together into the world of Haussmann apartments.

Eugène Haussmann and the reform of Paris under Napoleon III

To understand the origin of Haussmann apartments, we must go back to the second half of the 19th century, when Napoleon III decided to radically transform Paris to make it a modern and attractive city. He then entrusted this mission to Georges-Eugène Haussmann, prefect of the Seine since 1853.

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Under his leadership, a real urban revolution took place: nearly a third of Parisian streets were opened up or widened to facilitate traffic; the old unsanitary neighborhoods disappear to give way to large boulevards lined with luxurious buildings; and green spaces, such as Parc Monceau or Buttes-Chaumont, are created to provide places for residents to relax.

The work carried out by Haussmann not only made it possible to modernize the city but also to create a unique and recognizable architectural style: Haussmannian.

Architectural characteristics of Haussmann apartments

Haussmann buildings are distinguished by their majestic and elegant appearance. They are generally built of cut stone and rise five to seven floors, with a ground floor reserved for businesses and an interior courtyard providing ventilation for the accommodation. The facades often feature continuous balconies on the second and fifth floors as well as sculpted cornices highlighting each level.

But what truly makes Haussmann apartments famous are their interior characteristics:

  • Hungarian point parquet: This type of covering, made up of slats inclined at 45° forming a geometric herringbone pattern, gives rooms a feeling of space while providing a refined touch.
  • Ceiling moldings: These decorative ornaments contribute greatly to the classic aesthetic of the place. They can take the form of rosettes, friezes or even cornices and are often made of molded plaster.
  • Marble fireplaces: True works of art, they proudly sit in the reception rooms and offer an inimitable character to Haussmann apartments.
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Value of Haussmann apartments in contemporary real estate

Today, Haussmann apartments are considered safe and prestigious real estate investments. Their undeniable charm, their privileged location in the heart of Paris as well as their architectural quality make them properties highly sought after by French and international buyers. Additionally, the scarcity of these homes on the market helps keep their value high.

However, it should be noted that these properties may require significant work to meet current energy and comfort standards. This is why some buyers opt for intelligent modernization which preserves the historic character of the place while integrating contemporary elements.

Modernize a Haussmann apartment while retaining its classic charm

To adapt a Haussmann apartment to the requirements of the 21st century without altering its original character, it is essential to respect certain rules:

  • Focus on renovation rather than transformation: It is preferable to retain period features such as parquet flooring, moldings or marble fireplaces and to concentrate on improving technical installations (heating, electricity, plumbing, etc.).
  • Favor noble and durable materials: To remain faithful to the Haussmann spirit, you should opt for quality materials such as solid wood, natural stone or even glass.
  • Play with contrasts: A successful marriage between tradition and modernity can be achieved by combining contemporary furniture with the classic elements of the place. For example, a designer kitchen in a living room decorated with moldings will create a very chic effect.
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Thus, although they are anchored in a bygone period of Parisian history, Haussmann apartments continue to have an undeniable appeal among lovers of architecture and real estate. Thanks to their unique character and their indisputable heritage value, they undoubtedly constitute a safe investment for those who wish to own a piece of the Parisian dream.