A derelict nightclub in the heart of Paris has been turned into an evolving gallery space with the help of fifty of the world’s finest street artists. Les Bains-Douches, a stone’s throw from the Pompidou Centre in Paris was built in 1885 as a municipal bathhouse. More recently, as Les Bains, it became one of the coolest nightclubs in Paris, in its time, a favourite haunt of Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Andy Warhol. However, over-enthusiastic DIY work by the nightclub’s director led to the building being declared a safety hazard and, in 2010, it was ordered to be closed.

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The following year, owner Jean-Pierre Marois formed La Société des Bains to try to preserve the building, eventually securing its future as a new venue that will open in 2014. Marois decided that in the interim period it should be a home for creativity stating:

“In keeping with the artistic soul of the place, we have transformed this dead time into a fleeting, creative buzz, Les Bains will host an Artists’ Residency, and the whole building will be offered as a giant canvas for a plethora of urban artists commissioned by Magda Danysz.”

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From January this year, 50 renowned street artists have had the run of the building, turning it into a 3,000 square metre gallery space, albeit one that is inaccessible to the public. Marois and gallery owner Magda Danysz invited artists including Futura, Space Invader and Sambre to use material drawn from the building – electricity, ripped-up floorboards, rubble and spray paint – turning the empty shell into a living, breathing canvas of artwork.

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