What a difference a year makes. On May 24, 2018, I was making my final walk through the empty house I had called home for twenty-seven years. Exactly a year prior, while spending a few leisurely days in Paris, I was meandering through a fully furnished home filled with people, and life, and coffee, and food; a home open to everyone.
That little house at the northeastern corner of the Bassin de la Villette (19th arr.) was built in the early 1800s and served as the home for the canal manager. After being renovated in 2014, it opened to the public as a “coffice,” a convivial place where people can meet, work, or enjoy a cup of coffee.
While the architects respected the original structure and volumes, the interior design reflects a modern, colorful, and eclectic approach. Patrons bring their laptops and settle into their favorite spot to work for a few hours, or the whole day: a table en terrace, a comfy couch, a canopy bed, or a bathtub: no room is off-limits. Think of it as Starbucks with personality…
La Maison des Canaux also serves as a venue for art exhibits, conferences, concerts, yoga classes, cooking workshops, etc.
On a beautiful day, having lunch on the front terrace offers serene views of the water and the boats: an inspiration for some, a distraction for others. It’s a peaceful spot, especially on a weekday, when the crowds are sparse; the perfect place for a break while exploring the waterways of the 19th arrondissement.