Located in the heart of Paris, close to Place des Victoires, in a grand, 18th century building, this recently renovated one-bedroom apartment by local architecture practice Atelier du Pont exemplifies how radically contemporary design can revamp such a historic setting without imitating or effacing its architectural heritage.
Working with an elongated floorplan, the architects separated the apartment into an open-plan living and dining area in the front, and a bedroom in the back, separated by a box-like volume containing the bathroom. Connected by a wide corridor with no apparent doors that runs alongside the external wall, the division into public and private zones still allows the apartment to be experienced as a single space - a loft-like sensibility that is quite unlike what you’d expect to find in central Paris. This peculiar layout also ensures that the rhythmic sequence of the façade’s tall windows remains uninterrupted along the entire length of the street-facing wall, which enhances both the natural light penetration and the views outside onto Rue Etienne Marcel.
Carefully chosen materials combine a clean-cut, contemporary aesthetic with an elegant grandeur befitting the historic Parisian building. Chevron parquet flooring crafted from aged solid oak and stained birch plywood wall panelling reinterpret the classical Hausmannian interiors through a modern lens, while the terrazzo blue marble that demarcates the kitchen area and the pale Parisian sandstone cladding in-between the windows harmoniously balance out the wooden surfaces.
Terrazzo is also used in the bathroom along with white and grey hexagonal floor tiling and sleek black furnishings. Contained as it is inside the wood-panelled box, the bathroom is a cool, monochrome haven in juxtaposition to the warmer hues and softer textures in the rest of the apartment.
Eclectically furnished with a mix of custom-made and modernist pieces that pick up the subdued colour palette of the timber and stone surfaces, and featuring minimalist detailing and exquisitely crafted joinery, the apartment is a paradigm of subtle sophistication that more than measures up to the the centuries-old building it occupies.