At home on the Rive Gauche
Paola Bagna Simon
One hundred square metres of pure white walls and bleached wooden floors – a place to live and work in the VII Arrondissement, Rue de Lille, on the Parisian Rive Gauche. The apartment is ideally situated in the heart of this archetypical quarter of Paris, with its old art galleries, spaces for contemporary art, prestigious antiques shops and exclusive boutiques, cafés and bakeries, groceries and flower shops.
The renovation was handled by Paola Bagna Simon, the Catalan architect and director of the Spamroom design and architecture practice with offices in Berlin and Abidjan, known for working closely with craftsmen to explore new ways of working with materials and offering custom solutions for the client’s needs.
Although the apartment is primarily a private residence, it also has space for organising events for the owner’s select clientele. The apartment thus has two distinct areas, created by removing the original dividing walls and bathrooms to obtain an open, reconfigurable layout: the first, open to guests, consists of a brightly illuminated living room, a kitchen area and comfortable bathroom, while the second is completely private, with master bedroom and changing room, a guest room and its salle d’eau. The original dark oak parquet has been removed, partly because of damage, and replaced by long slats of bleached Douglas fir which unify the entire space.
The two zones are connected by a vestibule, conceived as a sort of airlock: full height doors allow it to be closed off or opened as required. As in many Parisian apartments, the building itself is constructed around two quiet internal courtyards, shielded from the noise of traffic and passersby: the new layout of the interior ensures that every room has a window onto a courtyard to let natural light in and provide proper ventilation.
With their graphically appealing, infinite effect, the ice-coloured ceramic wall tiles in the night area bathrooms act as a neutral canvas for reflected light. Both bathrooms have large mirrors and ceramic wall tiles in a mix of matt and polished finishes. The presence of the changing room creates a completely reserved space, as if to enforce the total privacy of the master bedroom. The walls are filled by a custom built oak wardrobe, the large surfaces of which are punctuated by Lucite handles.
The result is a sequence of harmonious spaces in a refined layout, with structural details which make intriguing use of materials. The apartment makes good use of natural light and the generous volumes of the rooms, designed to the express wishes of the owner, a passionate art collector and traveller. And indeed, the fashion designer has found the ideal solution for displaying her private collection and organising the spaces so as to be able to receive guests while creating a private space for relaxation between work commitments.
Ceramica Vogue, serie Trasparenze e Interni
20x40 10x10 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 1,5
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GB. min
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant