A Classic Parisian Apartment Filled With Modern Design


In the fall of 2019, architect and designer Sophie Rice (35) and her partner sculptor Mark Les Cherie (37) will be in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, not far from the historic Place des Vosges. I moved to a two-bedroom Ottoman style apartment. For several months, they lived almost completely without furniture or home comfort, except for the bedroom floor mattress (which doubled as a hangout and home office) and two dinner plates. They weren’t interested in buying temporary items and wanted to take the time to familiarize themselves with the space before making it their own. “But we avoid the living room altogether,” says Dryes. “It was very empty and there was an echo.”

But the couple didn’t start exactly from a blank slate. The 1,450-square-foot upstairs apartment is a typical 19th-century Parisian home, with all the traps of the sophisticated and decorative architecture of the era. The 10-foot-high ceiling features ornate plant-themed moldings. The walls are siding. The floor retains the original geometric two-tone marquetry. At the western end of the 376-square-foot living room is an elaborately carved marble fireplace with the year of creation in 1853, and on the adjacent wall is a floor-to-ceiling French window facing the balcony. Are lined up. Overlooking the wide tree-lined avenue below. In other words, the house was designed to be the gorgeous backdrop of the golden chest of drawers and the carved legs of Berger at the time. However, Dreis and Les Cherie, who met shortly after graduating from the architectural program of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, had a completely different vision. “We wanted to create a clash between this bourgeois typical Ottoman home and contemporary furniture and ideas,” says Dryes. “We live on an old continent and love its sense of history, but we are young. It’s important to have that paradox.”

Since establishing her architect and design studio of the same name in 2014, Dries has built a portfolio of housing projects in Paris. This includes a minimalist penthouse for art collectors along the Canal Saint-Martin and an elegant strip-back two-bedroom near the canal. The Canal Saint-Martin is for young couples working in the fields of fashion and technology. Each serves as a clever portrait of the resident, reflecting Dries’ own interest in combining pure lines with rich textures and unusual materials. Using his raw, large-scale sculptures (often in the form of pavilion-like concrete), Rescherier is also trying to introduce a sense of spontaneity and experimentation into the building process. This shared sensibility, which rejects the old and new, the hierarchy of shapes and functions, is evident throughout the pair’s home. From December 2019, they slowly offered apartments with a traditional circular layout. The living and dining rooms lead to the entrance, with more private rooms such as bedrooms and nurseries for children of 3 months. Her daughter Dahlia flows from there to each other. In two years, he mixed the works of Philippe Starck and Ettore Sottsass (mainly Paris-based gallerists Paul Bourdette, Eve, Victor Gastou, etc.) with the works of Dries himself. Handmade work.

Arrangements were often informed by the affinity that Dries or Leschelier noticed between seemingly unrelated items. For example, in the living room, a couple wears a dining table, an oval oak top with wavy edges, tubular rusted steel legs by Dries, and a set of Starck’s 80’s steel Von Vogelsang chairs for Driade. I combined it. In a 10 x 6 1/2 foot framed print by Ryan McGinley, three nude figures spread out over the sand dunes cover almost the entire south wall. Dry shared an image of the room with British designer Max Lamb. Max Lamb created a slab-shaped rubber coffee table for the space in a complementary shade of peanut butter brown. This piece is now next to a crescent-shaped modular sofa designed by Dries and decorated with deep eggplant velvet. The floor is made of oak, but more modern burring veneer.

Les Cherie also donated a bespoke piece to the living room. Two console tables consisting of stacked burnt blocks covered with steel sealed with overflowing mortar, on either side of one of the French windows. Dry also often enhances the humble element of life in her practice, with the post-war Italian Arte Povera movement advocating everyday materials and the minimalism of French modernist interior designer Jean-Michel Frank. I am referring to it. “Frank was a punk of his time, and I often wonder what he does today,” she says. In the couple’s bedroom, a warm but restrained shelter defined by earth tones and natural textures, she uses a slap brush to create an organic, rugged white in her tall built-in closet. I gave it a plaster finish. The fabric normally used for upholstery. Adjacent to the living room, the sunny dining room has a brass glow chandelier designed for the lighting company Kaia. Kaia’s egg-shaped glass sphere has a molded papier-mâché case. And for the small galley kitchen at the far end of the apartment, I chose blue-gray polished concrete to cover the countertop and floor. This is a refreshing departure from the beige and white palettes that clients often request.

Dries and Leschelier share their appreciation for their work with a good sense of humor. They are, for example, fans of the expressive approach of Italian designer Gaetano Pesse, one of the hand-poured resin of his humanoid brilliant colors, everyone sitting in the perfect chair. not. Reminiscent of the fur of an animal from another world — a quiet jewel box-like space in the corner of the front door of an apartment, where the eclectic tastes of a couple are most fully exhibited. To amplify the intimate and warm feeling of the room, Dries decorated the walls with jade green Japanese straw. Next, inspired by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the old masters and personal curiosity accumulated over decades by early 20th century collector Albert C. Burns are on display. increase. She hung some of the couple’s small artwork salons-their overall style. The religious sculpture by German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer, inherited from Lescherier’s maternal grandmother, is not far from the English breakfast photograph by British photographer Martin Parr. The sculpted landscape by French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso, a close friend of Dries and Leschelier, offsets the still life of flowers by the young Azerbaijani painter Niyaz Najafov. “The room has no features, but it’s our favorite,” says Dries. “We wanted to find a ridiculous way to put things together without thinking about value.”

Now that the living room is no longer echoing, couples make the most of it by hosting their friends for an apéritif. Neither say they are good at cooking, but both are happy to share a bottle of Chablis. Or, if you want, you can share it with someone who loves gin and tonic. It’s also in this room. They spend most of their time with their daughter. But for Dries, the family home is also a kind of professional manifesto, a way to show that a more peculiar living space can retain its great appeal. “My client may be too afraid to do most of the things here,” she says. “But if they see them in the context of a traditional apartment, they may change their minds.”

Photo Assistant: Lily Merc


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