A Classic Parisian Apartment Filled With Modern Design
IN THE Tumble of 2019, the architect and designer Sophie Dries, 35, and her associate, the sculptor Marc Leschelier, 37, moved into a two-bedroom Haussmannian condominium in Paris’s 11th Arrondissement, not far from the city’s historic Area des Vosges. For a number of months, they lived virtually solely with no home furnishings or residence comforts, help save for a mattress on the bed room flooring — which doubled as a hangout region and household place of work — and two evening meal plates. They had no interest in obtaining stopgap things and wanted to take time to acquaint themselves with the area ahead of producing it their have. “We would completely stay away from the living place, even though,” Dries claims. “It was so empty, it had an echo.”
But the couple weren’t specifically starting up with a blank slate. The 1,450-sq.-foot second-ground apartment is an archetypal 19th-century Parisian residence, comprehensive with all the trappings of the era’s refined, attractive architecture. The 10-foot-superior ceilings have ornate, botanically themed moldings the partitions are wainscoted and the floors keep their primary geometric two-tone marquetry. At the western finish of the 376-square-foot living home, there is an elaborately sculpted marble hearth inscribed with the 12 months of its generation, 1853, and on the adjacent wall a row of ground-to-ceiling French windows open onto a balcony overlooking the vast, tree-lined boulevard under. The property, in other words, was intended to be a luxurious backdrop for the gilded commodes and carved-leg bergères of its time. But Dries and Leschelier — who achieved not extended following they both equally graduated from the architecture software at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts — experienced an completely distinctive vision for it. “We needed to generate a clash involving this bourgeois normal Haussmannian residence and modern day home furniture and concepts,” claims Dries. “We stay on the aged continent, and we enjoy its feeling of heritage, but we’re young — it is significant to have that paradox.”
Since FOUNDING HER namesake architecture and design and style studio in 2014, Dries has created a portfolio of residential jobs in Paris — which includes a minimalist penthouse on the Rue Saint-Honoré for a pair of art collectors and an elegantly stripped-back again two-bedroom in the vicinity of the Canal Saint-Martin for a younger pair who function in style and tech — that each and every serve as a deft portrait of their inhabitants while reflecting Dries’s possess passions in combining pure traces with abundant textures and abnormal materials. With his uncooked huge-scale sculptures — generally pavilion-esque concrete forms — Leschelier in the same way seeks to introduce a sense of spontaneity and experimentation into the architectural system. This shared sensibility, which rejects hierarchies of aged and new, type and operate, is apparent all through the pair’s household. Commencing in December 2019, they gradually furnished the condominium, which has a common round format — a residing space and a eating home guide off an entryway, and the much more private rooms, like the bed room and a nursery for the couple’s 3-month-aged daughter, Daria, circulation into a person a different from there — over a two-year interval, mixing pieces by designers these as Philippe Starck and Ettore Sottsass (acquired primarily by means of Paris-dependent gallerists, including Paul Bourdet and Yves and Victor Gastou) with Dries’s possess handcrafted creations.
Arrangements were frequently knowledgeable by affinities that Dries or Leschelier discovered concerning seemingly unrelated items. In the residing space, for example, the couple paired a eating desk with a wavy-edged oval oak best, and tubular rusted steel legs by Dries with a established of Starck’s ’80s-era metal Von Vogelsang chairs for Driade. A 10-by-6 1/2-foot framed print by Ryan McGinley depicting a few nude figures sprawled across a sand dune addresses virtually the full south wall. Dries shared pictures of the space with the British designer Max Lamb, who then developed a slablike rubber coffee table for the room in a complementary shade of peanut butter brown. The piece now sits beside a crescent-moon-formed modular sofa, created by Dries and upholstered in deep aubergine velvet, that like the flooring is produced from oak but in a a lot more up to date burled veneer.
Leschelier also contributed personalized is effective to the dwelling home: two console tables composed of steel-topped stacked cinder blocks sealed with overflowing mortar that sit on either side of one of the French home windows. Dries, much too, usually elevates raw, humble things in her exercise and counts the postwar Italian Arte Povera motion, which championed day-to-day elements, and the minimalism of the French Modernist inside designer Jean-Michel Frank among her references. “Frank was a punk of his time, and I generally surprise what he’d do nowadays,” she says. For the couple’s bed room, a warm but restrained refuge outlined by earth tones and purely natural textures, she employed a slap brush to apply an natural, craggy white plaster complete to the tall built-in closets, and she had curtains manufactured from about woven hessian, a fabric normally applied in upholstery. The sun-flooded dining space, adjacent to the residing space, functions just one of her brass Glow chandeliers, built for the lighting enterprise Kaia, whose egg-shaped glass globes are topped with molded papier-mâché circumstances. And for the smaller galley kitchen area at the far conclusion of the apartment, she selected a blue-grey polished concrete to include the counter tops and ground, a refreshing departure from the beige and white palette her clients so normally request.
Dries and Leschelier share an appreciation for operates with a perception of humor. They are lovers, for instance, of the expressive strategy of the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce, and a single of his anthropomorphic, brightly colored hand-poured resin Nobody’s Great chairs sits — close to a plush purple and inexperienced 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 place in which the couple’s eclectic tastes are most totally on display. To amplify the room’s personal, denlike sense, Dries upholstered the walls in jade environmentally friendly Japanese straw. Then, using inspiration from the Barnes Basis in Philadelphia — in which old masters and particular curiosities amassed over decades by the early 20th-century collector Albert C. Barnes are shown side by aspect — she hung some of the couple’s scaled-down-scale artworks salon-design across them. A spiritual engraving by the German Renaissance grasp Albrecht Dürer, inherited from Leschelier’s maternal grandmother, appears not considerably from a photograph of an English breakfast by the British photographer Martin Parr an engraved landscape by Dries and Leschelier’s shut close friend the French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso offsets a floral still lifestyle by the younger Azerbaijani painter Niyaz Najafov. “The home has no operate, but it’s our favorite,” Dries says. “We wished to find an absurd way of putting matters jointly with out any assumed of worth.”
Now that the living area no for a longer period has an echo, the pair make total use of it by hosting mates for aperitifs. Although neither claims to be a wonderful cook, they the two delight in sharing a bottle of Chablis — or, when the event phone calls for it, a gin and tonic or two — with their liked ones, and it is in this area, also, that they devote the most time with their daughter. But for Dries, the family’s residence is also a experienced manifesto of sorts, a way to illustrate that a a lot more idiosyncratic dwelling house can maintain good allure. “My shoppers could be too concerned to do most of the matters right here,” she states. “But if they see them in the context of a classic apartment, they might alter their minds.”
Photograph assistant: Lilly Merck