Situated in the heart of Paris, the unique Trocadero apartment offers modernity, architecture, minimalism and geometric shapes. Its goal is to create a family home filled with ambience, elegance and tranquillity.
SPLENDOUR AND SIMPLICITY
A work of art: this home showcases beautiful materials and spaciousness. Emptiness warmly welcomes light and emotion. François Champsaur transformed a bourgeoisie apartment into a powerful and contemporary place to live in.
Built in the early years of this decade, the 500 square metres apartment has high ceilings and long sombre corridors that open up to the rooms. Its simplicity retains its original U-shape. One side looks at the Eiffel Tower and the other to the inner courtyard. “This space has been characterised by the earlier years, so it was a matter of turning it into something powerful and timeless,” explains the architect, “I intended to get back its form of simplicity by working on every extensive detail that showcases more architecture than interior design.”
His approach echoes the Japanese architecture – the most important space is emptiness; it exposes the changes in weather, light and scent. “I believe that the most interesting aspect of architecture is working towards giving the place a soul and sense of things – for the purpose of achieving a contemporary feel.”
There are revolving doors as high as three metres opposite the marble and curved wood, which create even more perspective and sensuality. “To get rid of the bourgeois sensation to this apartment, the suspended ceilings that date back to the 70’s have been removed,” says the architect, “The floor was refashioned with pine boards of six metres long. The wall panelling was touched up with colour gradients. For example, the master bedrooms became blue to hide the wardrobes as well as a TV screen, which makes you think of a sea landscape. The kitchen has become a real living area; adapted to suit today’s lifestyles: cooking, entertaining and dining in a big open space – the real heart of the home.” This asceticism characterises the choice of materials used, like plaster, wood, stone, as well as the use of non-colour, stimulated at times by its strong chromatics.
RIGOUR AND ROUNDNESS
To provide communication between all the rooms and allowing the light to play with its forms, François Champsaur has completely reorganised the general circulation and thus created a succession of strong, luminous spaces with very little furniture. The corridor opens into the lounge and the kitchen to the dining room. To make the most of the large variety of shapes, he introduced round forms by designing curved walls and doors – in the bathroom, for example, you will find a shower between two curved marble slabs. The ambient lighting comes from the floor, creating a candlelit atmosphere.
“The idea was to create a sort of large box completely re-sculptured, like a Roman Villa where the architecture alone is plentiful.” Without it being empty, this minimal artistic direction adds to the aspect of bold furniture: the library designed by François Champsaur for Pouenat is a work of metal, folds and fluidity; the spectacular bespoke Eric Schmitt bronze chimney, designed by Christian Liaigre and the Carpenters Workshop Gallery. François concludes by saying: “It was a must to discard every excess, every effect of material, every anecdotal element. All in order to shift this family apartment towards modernity and minimalism.”
Words: Daniela Slater