Re­port and pho­tos by Gior­gio Pos­sen­ti — words by Lau­ra Mag­gi

Light and sha­de — p. 148

ELLE Decor (Italy) - - News -

To­kyo. A hou­se in Shibuya su­spen­ded bet­ween poe­try and ab­strac­tion. The kingdom of Gwe­nael Ni­co­las, foun­der of the mul­ti- di­sci­pli­na­ry stu­dio Curiosity “A ho­me is not a pla­ce for pro­tec­ting your­self, but for li­be­ra­ting your­self. I am ob­ses­sed wi­th gra­vi­ty. I think of a domestic spa­ce as a cloud, whe­re the spi­rit can find itself, lea­ving rea­li­ty behind.” And so, wi­th just one sen­ten­ce, the Fren­ch ar­chi­tect Gwe­nael Ni­co­las over­turns the tra­di­tio­nal con­cept of the ho­me. His in To­kyo is open plan, wi­th mo­re se­clu­ded areas, whe­re you can for­get what is ou­tsi­de, in this ca­se the rea­li­ty of the Ue­ha­raS­hi­buya di­strict, wi­th its fre­ne­tic pa­ce. On the fa­mous in­ter­sec­tion, mil­lions of peo­ple pass th­rou­gh eve­ry hour of the day amid­st big screens and tech­ni­co­lour lights. The hall ac­ts as a de­com­pres­sion cham­ber bet­ween out­doors and in­doors: it is an all black box, whe­re you ta­ke off your shoes and en­ter the ho­me, whe­re a light along the pe­ri­me­ter of the floor ri­ses up the walls and ma­kes vo­lu­mes va­ni­sh, an­ni­hi­la­ting the sha­do­ws. Gwe­nael’s de­si­gn phi­lo­so­phy mo­ves bet­ween the two po­les of sim­pli­ci­ty and com­ple­xi­ty, ha­ving re­cen­tly de­si­gned two lar­ge bou­ti­ques for Dol­ce& Gab­ba­na: one in To­kyo, play­ing on the re­flec­tions of gold co­lou­red me­tal and on lights that re­veal and con­ceal the sha­do­ws, the other in Mi­lan, whi­ch fo­cu­ses on the use of precious ma­te­rials, green mar­ble and elm burl. For his hou­se, he ma­de ra­di­cal choi­ces: black Mon­go­lia mar­ble designs the mo­no­li­ths in the kitchen and the me­di­ta­ti­ve spa­ce of the ba­th­room, aged Ta­mon wood for the floors, a uni­que sha­de of grey for the walls,

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