A Classic Parisian Apartment Filled With Modern Design

Audrey J. Powers

IN THE Drop of 2019, the architect and designer Sophie Dries, 35, and her husband or wife, the sculptor Marc Leschelier, 37, moved into a two-bedroom Haussmannian apartment in Paris’s 11th Arrondissement, not considerably from the city’s historic Place des Vosges. For various months, they lived pretty much entirely with out furniture or house comforts, help you save for a mattress on the bedroom flooring — which doubled as a hangout space and property place of work — and two supper plates. They had no curiosity in shopping for stopgap goods and wanted to get time to acquaint themselves with the house in advance of creating it their have. “We would totally stay clear of the living area, however,” Dries suggests. “It was so empty, it had an echo.”

But the pair weren’t just commencing with a blank slate. The 1,450-square-foot 2nd-ground apartment is an archetypal 19th-century Parisian house, complete with all the trappings of the era’s refined, attractive architecture. The 10-foot-high ceilings have ornate, botanically themed moldings the walls are wainscoted and the flooring retain their original geometric two-tone marquetry. At the western close of the 376-square-foot residing room, there is an elaborately sculpted marble fireplace inscribed with the yr of its development, 1853, and on the adjacent wall a row of ground-to-ceiling French windows open up on to a balcony overlooking the large, tree-lined boulevard beneath. The residence, in other phrases, was built to be a sumptuous backdrop for the gilded commodes and carved-leg bergères of its time. But Dries and Leschelier — who satisfied not long following they both graduated from the architecture method at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts — experienced an solely different eyesight for it. “We desired to produce a clash involving this bourgeois typical Haussmannian property and contemporary home furnishings and suggestions,” states Dries. “We reside on the previous continent, and we really like its feeling of historical past, but we’re youthful — it is critical to have that paradox.”

Given that FOUNDING HER namesake architecture and style and design studio in 2014, Dries has built a portfolio of residential projects in Paris — which include a minimalist penthouse on the Rue Saint-Honoré for a pair of art collectors and an elegantly stripped-back two-bedroom around the Canal Saint-Martin for a younger few who operate in manner and tech — that every single serve as a deft portrait of their inhabitants though reflecting Dries’s own pursuits in combining pure traces with abundant textures and abnormal elements. With his raw significant-scale sculptures — generally pavilion-esque concrete sorts — Leschelier equally seeks to introduce a sense of spontaneity and experimentation into the architectural system. This shared sensibility, which rejects hierarchies of outdated and new, type and perform, is evident during the pair’s house. Starting in December 2019, they slowly furnished the condominium, which has a regular round structure — a residing space and a eating home lead off an entryway, and the much more personal rooms, including the bedroom and a nursery for the couple’s 3-month-outdated daughter, Daria, flow into 1 one more from there — in excess of a two-year period of time, mixing parts by designers this kind of as Philippe Starck and Ettore Sottsass (acquired mostly by Paris-based mostly gallerists, like Paul Bourdet and Yves and Victor Gastou) with Dries’s own handcrafted creations.

Preparations ended up frequently knowledgeable by affinities that Dries or Leschelier seen amongst seemingly unrelated items. In the living space, for example, the couple paired a dining desk with a wavy-edged oval oak prime, and tubular rusted metal legs by Dries with a set of Starck’s ’80s-era metal Von Vogelsang chairs for Driade. A 10-by-6 1/2-foot framed print by Ryan McGinley depicting three nude figures sprawled across a sand dune addresses pretty much the full south wall. Dries shared photos of the place with the British designer Max Lamb, who then created a slablike rubber espresso table for the house in a complementary shade of peanut butter brown. The piece now sits beside a crescent-moon-shaped modular couch, made by Dries and upholstered in deep aubergine velvet, that like the ground is produced from oak but in a extra present-day burled veneer.

Leschelier also contributed custom made functions to the dwelling space: two console tables composed of steel-topped stacked cinder blocks sealed with overflowing mortar that sit on possibly aspect of just one of the French windows. Dries, also, usually elevates raw, humble features in her observe and counts the postwar Italian Arte Povera movement, which championed each day elements, and the minimalism of the French Modernist interior designer Jean-Michel Frank among her references. “Frank was a punk of his time, and I typically surprise what he’d do these days,” she suggests. For the couple’s bedroom, a warm but restrained refuge defined by earth tones and natural textures, she used a slap brush to utilize an organic and natural, craggy white plaster complete to the tall designed-in closets, and she had curtains manufactured from approximately woven hessian, a material generally used in upholstery. The sunshine-flooded dining space, adjacent to the residing place, characteristics one of her brass Glow chandeliers, designed for the lighting corporation Kaia, whose egg-formed glass globes are topped with molded papier-mâché cases. And for the tiny galley kitchen at the far conclude of the apartment, she selected a blue-gray polished concrete to include the countertops and ground, a refreshing departure from the beige and white palette her purchasers so generally request.

Dries and Leschelier share an appreciation for is effective with a perception of humor. They are enthusiasts, for example, of the expressive tactic of the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce, and a person of his anthropomorphic, brightly coloured hand-poured resin Nobody’s Best chairs sits — in the vicinity of a plush purple and eco-friendly tufted wool rug by Dries for Nilufar Gallery that evokes an otherworldly animal pelt — in the corner of the apartment’s vestibule, a hushed, jewel-box-like area in which the couple’s eclectic preferences are most absolutely on display. To amplify the room’s personal, denlike sense, Dries upholstered the walls in jade eco-friendly Japanese straw. Then, getting inspiration from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia — in which old masters and particular curiosities amassed above many years by the early 20th-century collector Albert C. Barnes are shown facet by aspect — she hung some of the couple’s smaller sized-scale artworks salon-design throughout them. A religious engraving by the German Renaissance learn Albrecht Dürer, inherited from Leschelier’s maternal grandmother, seems not far from a photograph of an English breakfast by the British photographer Martin Parr an engraved landscape by Dries and Leschelier’s close good friend the French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso offsets a floral still lifetime by the young Azerbaijani painter Niyaz Najafov. “The home has no purpose, but it’s our belo
ved,” Dries claims. “We needed to uncover an absurd way of placing items jointly with no any imagined of value.”

Now that the dwelling area no for a longer period has an echo, the few make complete use of it by web hosting pals for aperitifs. Even though neither claims to be a wonderful cook dinner, they both equally delight in sharing a bottle of Chablis — or, when the event phone calls for it, a gin and tonic or two — with their loved types, and it is in this room, way too, that they spend the most time with their daughter. But for Dries, the family’s household is also a qualified manifesto of kinds, a way to illustrate that a much more idiosyncratic residing area can keep excellent attract. “My clients could possibly be also fearful to do most of the factors in this article,” she says. “But if they see them in the context of a common condominium, they may transform their minds.”

Image assistant: Lilly Merck

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