This duplex flat is located on the Ile Saint Louis in an 17th century building on the third and fourth floor.
The flat is in a poor state of repair. The historic terracotta floor was covered with wood sub-floor. This solution created major differences in level between the rooms. The staircase is a very basic painted wood staircase.
The project born from the desire of the architect and the client to combine the historic materials and structure with contemporary architecture.
The intervention was deliberately neutral to highlight the existing materials: the terracotta floor tiles preserved and the oak of the existing beams.
The work began with a genuine restoration of the historic elements that had been preserved: the terracotta floor tiles were removed, restored and re-laid in a mixture with new tiles to cover the entire surface area of the lower floor. The oak beams were sandblasted and then treated to restore the natural oak color and brighten up the rooms.
To highlight the existing perspective between the street and the courtyard, a bespoke piece of furniture runs along a large part of the flat. It is a combination of open storage, closed storage and kitchen unit. The cabinet is black with a brass base that adds light and airiness. The worktop is in white stone in the same tones as the fireplace.
At the far end, a small study/guest room with en-suite bathroom is treated in the same way as the living area: terracotta tiles on the floor, black and brass writing desk, line of light in the ceiling. In the living room, the existing staircase has been retained and refurbished to create a real architectural element. Two niches have been created in the space under the staircase, one to accommodate decorative elements, the other as a reading area.
Upstairs, the color of the terracotta tiles has been used on the walls: in the bathroom at shower level, and in the bedroom with Japanese straw wallpaper at the head of the bed. The stone of the kitchen worktop is also used in the bathroom for a bespoke washbasin set on a black cabinet. Brass is used again in the color of the ceiling spotlights.
Light is an integral part of the architectural design.
The line of light that runs the length of the furniture helps to accentuate the perspective between the street and the courtyard. The spotlights integrated into the suspended rail serve to emphasize the important elements of the space. A line of light integrated into the staircase handrail provides indirect lighting for the stairwell. Sockets and switches are in brass to match the furniture base.
All the technical elements (heating, hot water) are hidden from view.