Jenni Sparks’ Paris + BHV

pretavoyager-marais-jennisparks2I first discovered the work of Jenni Spark‘s through her hand drawn map of NYC. So When Lauren Lou sent me the link to this temporary exhibit I immediately recognized Jenni’s work. BHV department store hired Jenni to create a map of the Marais with some of their favorite surrounding places for this installation in their 5th floor observatory. (Unfortunately the dome is under scaffolding at the moment but there is a nice view to the place in front of Hotel de Ville from the observatory as well). I think the thing that is most impressive to me is that Jenni is a UK illustrator, but gets to know these cities she doesn’t live in so well through the architecture and maps she creates. You can download your very own PDF of the map, or pick up a paper version inside BHV/Marais!

pretavoyager-marais-jennisparks7I was so excited by the map that when I was at BHV I didn’t take full experience when I was there. The installation Marais: Pics & Spots is actually credited to Philippe Blondez,and all of the little items are actually a game of sort to capture the essence of the Marais neighborhood. For instance, the pink flamingo is a reference to the restaurant with the same name. Can you guess any of the others? I just wish we could walk all over the map – it’d be easier to discover everything. I suppose that’s the issue when you opt for white carpet… You can visit now until October 26th.



As an aside, for a long time BHV was my favorite department store with their fantastic art and school supply section. Recently they’ve been renovating the store, and have split up my beloved department into three different places on different floors. I’m hoping this is just temporary, and not some ploy to make me spend more time getting lost in the store in hopes of buying things. C’est dommage.

Also, don’t forget the FNAC free summer concert series in front of Hotel de Ville is on now!

Marais: Pic & Spots
on through Oct 26, 2013
52 Rue de Rivoli  |  75004

metro: Hotel de Ville

P.S. I teach MAP MAKING + INDESIGN on Skillshare! 


  • Arrghhh, I am SO JEALOUS!!!! How very fab and wonderful. I suppose looking at PDF or paper version is all right but will NEVER substitute for the real thing.

    Loving the pink flamingo reference et cetera. Really wonderful installation. Thank you for the great photographs and for my Monday inspiration.

    • I used to want to be a window designer after my first trip to Paris!! …. Love when great companies support and promote creatives.

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