A 2,200 ft2 apartment on Avenue de la Bourdonnais, in Paris, for a couple and their daughter. «I conceived this project as an architectural object. It is a manifesto of my esthetic...»
An apartment in Paris, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower “In the collective imagination, the Parisian apartment evokes parquet flooring, moldings and mirrors. I have reinterpreted these themes and have striven to create a refined and contemporary interpretation of the Chic Parisian...»
“Mr. and Mrs. W. wanted “a touch of Nature” in their apartment. I responded to this request by introducing the notion of naturality: (in philosophy) the condition of being natural, that which was not conceived or worked by the hand of man.”
Concept Reinterpretation of the Parisian apartment codes through the filter of naturality
The first step in the design is to set up in the apartment a regulating orthogonal grid used to rationalize the spaces and to integrate the building’s structure. An existing column - off the grid and out of step with the other columns - allows the introduction of the concept of naturality.
“In an abstract manner, I accepted this constraining column as a natural element not conceived by man and, therefore, I deformed my initial orthogonal grid to integrate this existing column...”
The resulting deformation subtly evokes natural forms: insect wings, the veins of leaves... This distorted grid is the keystone of the project.
“This grid, projected from the floor to the ceiling, becomes the exoskeleton that makes and structures the space. On the floor, it is materialized by the flooring, laid out like marquetry on a grand scale. On the ceiling, the grid is expressed by “moldings” of light...”
Monochromy is the only decorative expression. «For me, it is not synonymous with monotony. To the contrary, it becomes rich and subtle when the tonality is right. It creates an atmosphere as does a perfume...»
Maximum rationalization of materials:
“My search for what best suits each project is materialized in the rigor with which I choose materials: each material should have a precise and justified application.”
- Throughout the dry spaces, oak flooring executed as if it were marquetry. Each board is cut to size so that the only visible seams are aligned with the grid.
- A quartzite stone, used for paving the streets of Paris, honed for the floors and walls of wet spaces, polished for the countertops and island, and for the vanities in the three bathrooms.
- A luxurious textured lacquer (Atelier Martin Berger) for the built-ins of the principle living spaces, notably the book shelving. “I adjusted the contrast between the shelving - basic element of the arrangement used in its simplest form - and this very sophisticated material applied to it.”
- A mat lacquer for all of the functional cabinetry (dressing room, kitchens...)
- A leather to sheath the desk, integrated seating and the two lecterns in the master bedroom dressing room.
- Brushed stainless steel plumbing fixtures and door hardware... - Exceptionally clear mirrors to create perspective effects and visual vistas.
- A green curtain of Tillandsia is adjacent to the bow window. This plant, from the family of “air plants,” has - amongst others - the unusual characteristic of not growing roots, and it has a silvery tone close to the apartment’s overall tonality. «By bringing this green cloud into the composition, I wanted to reinterpret the bow window, which in Parisian apartments is traditionally dedicated to greenery.»
The grid is reflected in the perforations of the plaster ceiling. It results in a luminous network on dimmers, which illuminates the whole of the space. Sculpted light contributes to the construction of the space. Three “scales” disappear from the ceiling to differentiate three specific spaces: the entry, the foyer and the kitchen. Natural light is filtered by built-in blinds, or sculpted as in the master suite where three luminous prisms light the passage.