Located on Victor Hugo Avenue — a luxe location at the heart of Paris — Project Victor Hugo is a two-story penthouse apartment perched at the top of an early 19th Haussmannian edifice, with a 360-degree view of the city opening to gardens. Having inherited the luxury tradition of French interior design and embodied a slice of Oriental flair, the apartment is home to a distinctive blend of classicism with a modern twist. Taking a holistic approach, the designer rewrites the traditional Parisian elegance in a new fashion that embraces the vibrancy of a bustling city while reflecting a calm and relaxing way of life.
Guillaume Alan translated the homeowner’s passion for Asia and offers it in a format that exudes luxury, calmness, and precision. His unique take on architectural discourse finds expression in the adaptive reuse of the ancient Chinese spirit of Taoism, or Dao.
A case in point is the custom-made dining room featuring Ming era-inspired chairs, with a dining table made from Corian and cut-outs of the Japanese character for luck. The hard yet sleek furniture is balanced by the voluminous silk curtains — all lovingly chosen in a minimalist white.
A monochromatic color scheme of light gray is thoroughly conveyed across the apartment, including walls, an oak wood floor, the natural linen rug, and textiles of leather, silk, and wool.
“We call it craie color,” explains Guillaume Alan of the French word for chalk. “Although this apartment isn’t shy of space, by using the same tone across the home it not only creates the illusion of more space, but also allows for more depth, texture, and warmth to be added to each room without a need to commit to a color or an unneeded feature.” Alan argues that using the same color throughout the residence “allows for more depth, texture, and warmth to be added to each room without the need to commit to a color or an unneeded feature.” As such, a dose of composure and simplicity are expressed by a way of the restrained palette.
What’s also worth noting is that all furniture pieces are custom-made and drawn out by Guillaume Alan in a wide range of textures. Leather, silk, and linen are in subtle contrast with marble and bronze. A perfect balance has also been revealed by elegant integration of both raw and refined material textures.
Take a closer look at this coffee table, around which sundry materials like the oak wood floor, linen rug, and brushed ash wood and bronze perfectly balance with one another.
Alan’s design aesthetic triggers an intense connection between space and objects, which helps the house take on a type of personality infused with a sophisticated touch of opulence and exoticism. Also, you can strongly feel how emotional serenity and calmness weaves through this bright and airy space. The designer seeks to imbue the space with deeply sensory resonance filled with a constant flow of light and sun during the day.
The extraordinary entrance hall with a classical-look balustrade along the stairs is well tempered with the muted natural light from the blinds.
To me, purity is a way of life. It’s that feeling of great simplicity and absolute serenity concealing an ultra-precise mastery. Overall, this project exudes a minimalist poetry of space where purity reigns supreme. Exceptional craftsmanship well reflected by pure lines renews the tradition of French design in one way or another.
“The project is pure, flawless, and harmonious. When you enter and discover, you’ll find that every element was carefully considered—the architecture, the light, the floor, the materials used, the palette, the furniture pieces are all perfectly linked.” — Guillaume Alan
Simplistic while luxe, minimalist while elegant, Guillaume Alan’s expertise is thoroughly expressed through the Project Victor Hugo as modern as they are timeless, in a soft textured chalk color palette enlivened by a strong sense of cultural continuity and re-invigorated tradition.
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