In pictures, private tour of the new Orient Express, from the bar car to the ultra-luxurious suites

We follow the architect Maxime d’Angeac in the Orient Express. He is responsible for furnishing and decorating the original carriages, which will soon carry new passengers, and tells us how he brings this mythical train back to life.

“He is not on track yet. The first redesigned cars of the Orient Express, a dream train, a true legend, will not be shown until 2024 during the Olympic Games. But in the meantime, the Orient Express is revealing itself a little, revealing its new equipment and decorations, obviously imagined in the beginning and especially the spirit of the 1920s, a period in which famous decorative artists such as René Prou ​​​​or René Lalique have worked to make this rolling jewel connecting Paris with Istanbul from 1883 (the connections will change slightly according to history) absolutely mythical. On the occasion of Contemporary Art Week in Paris, Orient Express, Accor Group’s brand, thus exclusively reveals on October 20 and 21 at Domus Maubourg, the design of its future train through models and 3D images. A visit with reservation that will satisfy all lovers of extraordinary journeys And wait, the architect Maxime D’Angeac, revealed by his collaboration with the Daum and Hermès houses, which has carried out prestigious restoration s and decoration projects for 20 years and whose mission is to write an unprecedented chapter in the history of this train offers a guided tour through sumptuous 3D images.

Marrying historical Art Deco references while adding modern style and comfort, such was the mission of architect Maxime D’Angeac, responsible for bringing the Orient Express back to life. Future OE

The starting point

“I wanted to recover the spirit of the 1920s, a period when René Prou ​​​​and René Lalique cultivated the perfection of detail and accurate manufacturing in the Orient Express. It was central because our work fits into the original “hulls”, the carriages. To this I started working using only Indian ink, pencil drawing, with markers… as René Prou ​​and René Lalique had done. This is an approach that no longer exists because it is very expensive and time consuming and requires extreme precision where every mistake involves starting over However, it was my wish to exclude 3D in the first design phase and the Accor group, my client, agreed to let me work in this way understanding that it was essential to design a cohesive project. It was very ambitious on his part and lucky for me. The Orient Express in the 1920s was an embassy of French taste, so I also had the ambition to fit into this framework while adding my style. If I have studied the archives a lot, if the references to Art Deco are obviously unavoidable, I did not want to suggest a plagiarism, a pale copy of what had been. So I thought of a train that integrates history but also fits into today’s world. »


During the day, the suites are furnished as living rooms. Future OE
In the evening, when the travelers eat dinner, the staff transforms the living room into a bedroom. Future OE

“Originally in the Orient Express, the shower cubicle was installed between two bedrooms and therefore shared. This was no longer possible today. We have therefore completely revolutionized the plans of the suites to bring them up to contemporary standards. While there were then ten cabins per car, now there are only three. This is how we were able to install a very modern bathroom core in each suite with a shower, 70 cm sink, large toilets separate from the dressing room. This required a complete rethinking of circulation. We also complied with the original wish of Georges Nagelmackers, the creator of the Orient Express, who wanted “the great transformation” between day and night, that is, an installation for the day with sofa and table and another for the evening with bunks in day beds. We have respected this idea, which allows you to enjoy every moment comfortably. All the equipment is of course specially designed and adapted to life on a train with rounded edges everywhere to avoid damage if you bump into the furniture. Another important element: when traveling by train, the passing landscape is a living image, so it had to be highlighted with window frames that sublimate it and at the same time favor the circulation of light. All this is thought in a luxurious spirit. The materials chosen, which respect the train’s historical vocabulary, are precious such as wood and leather. The custom-made carpets take up a pattern created by Suzanne Lalique, daughter of René, who for the Haviland factory worked with René Prou ​​on the interior of the Orient Express. In the suites, as in the other rooms, there are original elements of the trains of the time, such as engraved Lalique panels. We were actually lucky enough to have access to all the preserved heritage of the Orient Express and made sure to use it! »

The barbell

The Parisian spirit of the late 19th century floats in the bar cart. Future OE

“The bar car is inspired by the first bar on the Orient Express in 1883. We designed it in a very Parisian spirit from the end of the 19th century. It contrasts a bit with the rest of the train without being a break. There are a lot of very refined details: rugs, capitals, clocks on all tables with a push button to order champagne directly… There is also a music lounge with a real piano so that musicians can come on board during the hours. the trip and go to concerts. Everything has been carefully considered in this bar as elsewhere, because we had historical limitations, but also space. We wanted, as I said, to avoid plagiarism and at the same time respect certain references. So I would say this bar is a reinvention from my imaginations and imbued with my style. »

The dining car

On the walls of the restaurant car we find the “Rail” motif by Suzanne Lalique reworked in relief using the cardboard technique. Future OE

“The restaurant car is extremely important. We go there three times a day. In this room we have chosen again to take up Suzanne Lalique’s rail pattern, but this time we worked on the walls. We treated this pattern in relief using an extremely complex technique, namely stone cardboard. For this we turned to Atelier d’Offard. The result is magnificent! Another notable feature is the two glass partitions that separate the dining car from the kitchen and a small private dining room. The construction of these partitions was entrusted to Emmanuel Barrois. He also designed the bar’s domes. These craftsmen are essential in the revival of the Orient Express. Without their expertise this project would not be possible. Many workshops work with us. I have just mentioned L’Atelier d’Offard and Emmanuel Barrois, but there is also the glassmaker Bernard Pictet, the master sculptor Étienne Rayssac, the upholsterer Jouffre, Jean Brieux Atelier for wood embroidery, Atelier Juillet for rugs or even Meljac, who designed the switches in a spirit from the 1920s while incorporating modern technology… This list is of course not exhaustive. Because the Orient Express is also a tribute to French know-how. »


A work with the perspectives and the softness of the corridors. Future OE

“They were the subject of all our attention. We wanted to bring volume and softness to these circulation spaces. For this we worked on a vaulted ceiling that goes up and down without you noticing. This creates a very pleasant false perspective. We have also fitted curtains for a sense of intimacy.And of course there is a stainless steel bar along the windows to allow you to lean on your elbows to watch the scenery go by.The floor is carpeted by Atelier February. We were lucky enough to find flower lamps from Lalique. They line the corridors. However, as the light was not comfortable at the time, they were reworked to provide better illumination. Every detail has been thought through in this spirit of beauty and functionality. The door handles are thus designed to prevent handbags from getting caught in them. A project like this deserves nothing to be overlooked!”

Orient Express Revelation, Domus Maubourg, 29, boulevard de La Tour Maubourg, 75007 Paris. Reservation required d

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