A 17TH-CENTURY BUILDING IN PARIS, ON PLACE DES VOSGES, HOSTS A COURAGEOUS REINVENTION FLOODED WITH LIGHT.
A radical renovation that does not alter the spirit of the building, conducted by the owner of the residence, Cyprien Bru, an architect and eclectic collector of art and design: «The basic idea was to conserve the historical character, adding a modern touch», he explains. The flat was originally composed of four rooms and a series of corridors: a fragmented space that had not been altered since the mid-1940s. In spite of its great position (on the third floor, facing a two-story building) it was rather dark and gloomy. «I rationalized the layout, moving the living area to the west, and creating a corridor to the bedroom zone that faces outward to capture light», Bru says. Walls in wood, perforated metal and marble join traditional casements and stucco moldings. Almost all the furnishings are collectibles, with a clear preference for Italian Seventies design. But there are also works by young talents. Art also plays an important role, entering all the rooms, including the two bathrooms. The eclectic range of items covers unconventional 21st-century works, photographs, small bronze pieces from the turn of the last century. A long display case in the corridor displays the owner’s collection of sneakers, like an installation. The basic color is pale gray, to set off the objects. Exceptions include the master bathroom, in marble with vivid veins, like brushstrokes. The kitchen has stone composite walls and flooring, matched with warm maple. Outstanding presences in the flat include a 1970s chandelier by Gaetano Sciolari over a small white table with colorful accents by Shiro Kuramata for Memphis; a low, linear cabinet displays three large watercolors by Léo Dorfner. A formidable mix.