architect: EDB STUDIO
location: Paris, France
Restyling in Paris: 100 sqm in 16 sqm in the heart of Marais
Between Hotel de Ville and Pont Marie, in a block between Rue de Rivoli and Rue de la Verriere, 16 square meters and a very ambitious functional program: create a space that can accommodate both an architecture studio with large work desk and a private home equipped with kitchen, dining table, two separate beds, wardrobes, sofa and bathroom with all amenities. A tailoring work by EDB STUDIO, which starts from the idea of placing a large container cabinet in a minimal space, in which the various functions are covered without affecting the suggestive original space, brought to light thanks to a careful restorative conservation aimed to preserve the enchanting charm of Paris. The architects restored the ancient wooden ceiling beams and the limestone on the main wall, dominated by two large arch windows, classically framed with glass windows and wrought iron small parapet of the eighteenth century: all elements that contribute to return to the original spirit of Marais' environment.
It is in this atmosphere that the white and grey minimal "mobiler" fits to solve the relationship between new and old without overwhelming the space, offering many different functional configurations required by the client, most of them thought to disappear: vasistas shelves in the upper jaw; push-pull swing armchair with drawers hidden in the first module; a sink, electric plate and iron plate for the kitchenette, with chest of drawers, refrigerator and storage room under the sink. Turning the corner, a change of color on the vertical white surface (which is nothing other than the intrados of a retractable bed) suggests the presence of a coffee table with a magnetic block; another retractable bed is separated by a further module, marked by a vertical gray blade, an unexpected handle that reveals the real function of the central module: the entrance door to a concealed bathroom.
E’ in questa atmosfera che il minimale “mobilier” in fenix, bianco malé e grigio londra, che di primo acchito passa quasi inosservato, si inserisce a risolvere il rapporto nuovo/antico senza prevaricare, offrendo a sorpresa le diverse configurazioni funzionali richieste dalla committenza, quasi tutte a scomparsa: scaffalature a vasistas nelle parta alta; armadio ad anta battente push-pull con cassettiere nascoste nel primo modulo; uno sfondato con lavabo, piastra elettrica e pensile a vasistas per l’angolo cottura, dotato anche di cassettiera, frigorifero e ripostiglio sotto il lavello; voltando l’angolo, un cambio di colore sulla superficie bianca verticale (che altro non è che l’intradosso di un letto a scomparsa) suggerisce la presenza di un tavolino a ribalta con blocco magnetico; un altro letto a scomparsa è separato da un ulteriore modulo, segnato da una lama grigia verticale, un’inaspettata maniglia che rivela la reale funzione del modulo centrale: porta d’ingresso ad un bagno nascosto.
Coordinated with this play of modules another curious square surface, leaning against the wall, surrounded by a gray rectangle almost evoking a Malevich work of art, turns into the great work table required by an "architecture studio": again, the color change is a decorative gimmick to suggest a movement. The gray rectangle, milled in thickness within the table surface, makes a rotation of 90° allowing the ground support the table. A fixed shelf, attested to the wall in front of it that measures like the square table side contributes to defining the work space too.
Given the irregularity of the historic walls, the scenarios become numerous, like a Chinese box, it offers different configurations that meet all the needs and activities of the day: living room, a bed that becomes a sofa, a table, a dining room that becomes a sleeping area with two beds. A sober and discreet intervention tells the story of the place with a single decorative concession that enrich the crumbling gray of the disappearing beds: the stylization of the arrondissements. Marked by the well-known line of the Seine and interrupted by the presence of the bathroom door, it only admits a red dot related to Ville Lumière.
Even the hidden bathroom follows the metamorphic logic of the rest of the project: shower glass doors move according to a rotation game that allows to disappear when the shower box is not used. The upper door rotates by 90°, until it adheres to the wall and the smaller wheel rotates of 180° to adheres to the wall and allows the user to enter. Even in this environment all the bathroom lines are coordinated in detail with sobriety and composition. From the mirror above the washbasin, positioned in front of the bathroom door, the street front is reflected, multiplying the perception of the space.
Nothing is casual: from the study of lights, to the care of furnishing details, the relationship between old and new and the study of the city. A multifaceted minimal project, to prove that even a tiny living space can be an important versatile answer to the human needs of contemporary living.