IN THE Drop of 2019, the architect and designer Sophie Dries, 35, and her spouse, the sculptor Marc Leschelier, 37, moved into a two-bedroom Haussmannian condominium in Paris’s 11th Arrondissement, not much from the city’s historic Position des Vosges. For quite a few months, they lived nearly totally without the need of furniture or house comforts, help save for a mattress on the bed room ground — which doubled as a hangout area and property business — and two supper plates. They experienced no fascination in buying stopgap items and needed to take time to acquaint on their own with the place ahead of earning it their personal. “We would wholly prevent the living space, however,” Dries says. “It was so vacant, it had an echo.”
But the pair weren’t accurately starting with a blank slate. The 1,450-square-foot 2nd-ground apartment is an archetypal 19th-century Parisian household, finish with all the trappings of the era’s refined, decorative architecture. The 10-foot-substantial ceilings have ornate, botanically themed moldings the walls are wainscoted and the flooring keep their unique geometric two-tone marquetry. At the western finish of the 376-square-foot living room, there is an elaborately sculpted marble fireplace inscribed with the yr of its generation, 1853, and on the adjacent wall a row of floor-to-ceiling French windows open on to a balcony overlooking the wide, tree-lined boulevard beneath. The household, in other text, 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 very long soon after they equally graduated from the architecture program at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts — experienced an totally different eyesight for it. “We preferred to build a clash amongst this bourgeois typical Haussmannian dwelling and up to date household furniture and suggestions,” says Dries. “We stay on the previous continent, and we really like its perception of background, but we’re younger — it is vital to have that paradox.”
Considering that FOUNDING HER namesake architecture and structure studio in 2014, Dries has developed a portfolio of household initiatives in Paris — including a minimalist penthouse on the Rue Saint-Honoré for a pair of artwork collectors and an elegantly stripped-back two-bedroom close to the Canal Saint-Martin for a young couple who get the job done in style and tech — that each individual provide as a deft portrait of their people whilst reflecting Dries’s very own interests in combining pure traces with wealthy textures and strange components. With his uncooked big-scale sculptures — typically pavilion-esque concrete sorts — Leschelier in the same way seeks to introduce a sense of spontaneity and experimentation into the architectural method. This shared sensibility, which rejects hierarchies of outdated and new, variety and functionality, is evident all over the pair’s residence. Starting in December 2019, they gradually furnished the apartment, which has a conventional round structure — a residing place and a eating place lead off an entryway, and the more non-public rooms, together with the bedroom and a nursery for the couple’s 3-month-previous daughter, Daria, move into one particular one more from there — about a two-calendar year time period, mixing parts by designers this kind of as Philippe Starck and Ettore Sottsass (obtained typically by means of Paris-centered gallerists, together with Paul Bourdet and Yves and Victor Gastou) with Dries’s possess handcrafted creations.
Preparations ended up normally informed by affinities that Dries or Leschelier observed in between seemingly unrelated items. In the residing place, for illustration, the couple paired a eating table with a wavy-edged oval oak best, and tubular rusted steel legs by Dries with a established of Starck’s ’80s-era steel Von Vogelsang chairs for Driade. A 10-by-6 1/2-foot framed print by Ryan McGinley depicting a few nude figures sprawled throughout a sand dune covers nearly the complete south wall. Dries shared illustrations or photos of the area with the British designer Max Lamb, who then established a slablike rubber espresso desk for the house in a complementary shade of peanut butter brown. The piece now sits beside a crescent-moon-shaped modular sofa, intended by Dries and upholstered in deep aubergine velvet, that like the ground is produced from oak but in a a lot more up to date burled veneer.
Leschelier also contributed tailor made functions to the residing place: two console tables composed of metal-topped stacked cinder blocks sealed with overflowing mortar that sit on both side of 1 of the French windows. Dries, as well, normally elevates uncooked, humble aspects in her apply and counts the postwar Italian Arte Povera movement, which championed every day materials, and the minimalism of the French Modernist inside designer Jean-Michel Frank among her references. “Frank was a punk of his time, and I usually question what he’d do now,” she suggests. For the couple’s bed room, a warm but restrained refuge described by earth tones and normal textures, she utilized a slap brush to implement an organic, craggy white plaster end to the tall constructed-in closets, and she experienced curtains designed from approximately woven hessian, a fabric typically applied in upholstery. The sunshine-flooded eating place, adjacent to the residing home, options a single of her brass Glow chandeliers, created for the lights company Kaia, whose egg-shaped glass globes are topped with molded papier-mâché situations. And for the modest galley kitchen at the far finish of the condominium, she chose a blue-gray polished concrete to protect the countertops and floor, a refreshing departure from the beige and white palette her shoppers so often ask for.
Dries and Leschelier share an appreciation for operates with a feeling of humor. They are admirers, for instance, of the expressive solution of the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce, and a person of his anthropomorphic, brightly colored hand-poured resin Nobody’s Great chairs sits — near 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 where the couple’s eclectic tastes are most entirely on display screen. To amplify the room’s intimate, denlike experience, Dries upholstered the walls in jade eco-friendly Japanese straw. Then, using inspiration from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia — in which outdated masters and private curiosities amassed about a long time by the early 20th-century collector Albert C. Barnes are displayed facet by aspect — she hung some of the couple’s scaled-down-scale artworks salon-design throughout them. A religious engraving by the German Renaissance grasp Albrecht Dürer, inherited from Leschelier’s maternal grandmother, appears not far from a photograph of an English breakfast by the British photographer Martin Parr an engraved landscape by Dries and Leschelier’s close pal the French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso offsets a floral still daily life by the youthful Azerbaijani painter Niyaz Najafov. “The area has no functionality, but it’s our preferred,” Dries claims. “We needed to discover an absurd way of placing things collectively devoid of any considered of benefit.”
Now that the residing room no for a longer time has an echo, the pair make full use of it by hosting friends for aperitifs. Although neither promises to be a great cook, they both delight in sharing a bottle of Chablis — or, when the event phone calls for it, a gin and tonic or two — with their beloved types, and it is in this room, also, that they commit the most time with their daughter. But for Dries, the family’s dwelling is also a professional manifesto of kinds, a way to illustrate that a much more idiosyncratic residing place can hold excellent attract. “My clients may possibly be as well frightened to do most of the factors in this article,” she says. “But if they see them in the context of a regular condominium, they may well change their minds.”
Picture assistant: Lilly Merck