Inside a Grand Parisian Building, a Secret Atelier

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The quiet area of ​​Rue Saint-Lazare is protected from the turmoil of the nearby Paris Station, which shares the name of the street. There is a gorgeous 1880s Ottoman-style building with a delicately carved limestone facade. This is by far the most spectacular building in this 9th district block. Therefore, it is the unexpected home of Saint-Lazare, the product and design company best known for its practical aesthetics and stylish use of discreet materials.

Just beyond the stately courtyard, 25 young designers flock to one of three long communal wooden gantry tables surrounded by plywood shelves holding rows of cardboard archive boxes. Almost all surfaces in a 1,800-square-foot room are covered with Saint-Lazare product tableau. Vintage travel posters and colorful op art prints lean in three depths on one wall next to a bold striped wool blanket. Pocket-sized travel guides and soft leather pouches line the bookshelves. On the opposite wall are many promotional posters of these same objects. This is a homage to an advertising kiosk that once filled the corners of the city, with the company logo on it.

“If you’re willing to open the door in this area, you’ll find a lot of beautiful things happening,” said Clementine Larumet, a designer who co-founded the company with childhood friend Parisian architect Antoine Ricardo. increase. For the past 20 years, the duo has run and collaborated in his late 40s with a studio called Be-Poles, known for supporting the branding and design of international hotels such as No Mad in New York and Le Pigalle in Paris. I also did it. With Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent.

Be-Poles may have been involved in hotel signs, letterhead, etc., but even at the time when they weren’t necessarily involved in the interior, the pair was “because we wanted” and was unique. Larroumet says he was starting to make products. “We will see what is lacking in the market and create it.” The first one was “Portraits de Villes”. This is a continuous series of small books that match different artists with different cities (photographers Lina Scheynius and Sarajevo, illustrators Iris de Moüy and Kyoto). In 2010, shortly after the launch of Be-Poles’ New York studio, now headed by associate partner Reynard Philip, the company was hired to work on NoMad’s brand identity. As the project designed by Jack Garcia neared completion, Be-Poles art curator Virginie Boulenger adorned the walls with previously published guide photos, old cityscape prints and retro travel posters. .. “Suddenly we chose art, painted it, and put things on the table,” says Ricardu. “It has moved from creating an abstract concept to touching all surfaces.”

Since then, even if you’ve worked in Le Roche Rouge, a chic resort on the French Riviera, or in Leburn, a rural hideaway on the outskirts of Paris, your partner has procured vintage objects, furniture and lighting on behalf of hospitality. I became an expert in manufacturing. client. About a year ago, in the midst of a pandemic, they decided to produce more of their objects and moved from the top of the building opposite the Pompidou Center to the studio on the ground floor and branded as Saint-Lazare. I changed the name. “We wanted the creative energy of a large space where the team could experiment, prototype ideas and print their own artwork. There is even a kiln for firing ceramics,” Ricardou said. Mr. says.

Its dedication to experimentation and collaboration informs the design itself. No seats are assigned and virtually all corners are designed to be flexible and versatile. In the center of the space is a white tiled kitchen where colleagues and clients can meet for coffee or chat with the chef who came to make lunch. Recently, Saint-Lazare is making wooden furniture — a simple bench for bed feet. A pedestal suitable for throwing clothes. Box-shaped stool — adds a touch of warmth and life. But like any other good design, the idea is that you don’t feel that the objects themselves are designed, not the objects or the places they dream of. “The goal is to create only something that is purposeful, loyal to its function, and timeless,” says Larroumet.

Photo Assistant: Michael Campi

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