First Published 9 September 2015
One can’t help but sense the lofty ideals, optimism about the future and nationalistic pride embodied in the grand Modern gestures of the Palais d’Iena. Designed by Auguste Perret for the Exposition Universelle de 1937, it includes a monumental sweeping staircase in concrete at one end of the lobby, which is the size of a soccer field, and windows each the size of small swimming pools.
Thus we felt visually stymied and underwhelmed when presented with the gray cement blocks that were designed to hide the ‘future’ interiors of several very impressive and important interior design firms for this latest edition of AD Interieurs.
However, once inside the interiors held presented some inspiring experiences.
Gwenael Nicolas’s ‘le salon de perception’ (salon of perception) presents pieces that elegantly transform from beautiful abstract sculpture to functional canapés, consoles and low tables. (These pieces would live so well in the lobby of this building!)
‘le salon de perception’ film clip (30 secs)
Imagine a dance party amongst the sculptures and as the crowd grows tired the room can be transformed into an elegant lounge!
This is the interior created by Studio Dimore. They are so in touch with this balance between the future and the past. How is it that this interior evokes the 70s so strongly while feeling contemporary at the same time? The colors and symbols evoke just enough nostalgia – without anything close to kitch – to make us comfortable about being presented with something new, such as the table. It is all part of the same narrative of elegance and courage.
The table is a design by the studio paying homage to Charlotte Perriand (the legs). The chairs are the iconic superleggera by Gio Ponti – covered in silk! And the walls – they are silk, too! Touching them brings the room alive – it goes from being purely a visual feast to a sensual experience. Et voila, we have entered into the future as seen by Dimore Studios – outstanding!
These sculptures presented by Annabelle Stanislas Architecture are challenging. They are lava made in fine layers to create a very complex affect. Placed near cactuses in a bed of white rocks these sculptures came alive as ‘desert flowers’.
These rubber ‘Dancers” by Aurelie Hoegy are presented at Now!Le Off – part of Paris Design Week.
This young French designer, who is a graduate of the famous Design Academy Eindhoven “pushes the limit between contemporary design and art, exploring the role of “hybrid design” in today’s culture.” Her work here imposes a strong sense of movement onto our stagnant idea of seating. This forces us to reevaluate the importance of comfort and familiarity of traditional seating versus the excitement and energy proposed in these forms. They have metal structures under the rubber surfaces and can hold a body like a traditional chair. They obviously don’t invite you to curl up in them but rather pause for a minute to adjust the strap your high heel before heading back out into the dance of life!
In our opinion, Hoegy’s work is in a completely different league than the other work we saw presented at this fair this year.
It’s only Tuesday! Much more to come as we cover the best of #ParisDesignWeek! Ciao!