B Residence

Paris, France

2001 — 2006

This elegant and restrained 30’s townhouse - a modest example of the International Style - is situated in a conservation area in Paris. The house was to be transformed into a generous contemporary family home and any alterations to the original geometric elevations were out of the question. The external envelope and also the original winding staircase were carefully restored, while the inside of the house was carved out to enlarge the volume and open up the plan.

The basement was completely reconfigured and enlarged and part of the garden was dug out to create a ‘cour anglaise’ for the dining room and kitchen and provides natural daylight, fresh air, and a terrace for outdoor entertaining. The darker areas at the front of the plan were ideal to accommodate an intimate spa facility.

The ground floor living room is orientated towards a sandstone terrace of which clean lines complement the rough original garden walls and the mature trees and shrubs. A cut-out in the first floor plate over the living room allows indirect views to the upper floor and lets light filter through between the two spaces. All the upper floors are dedicated to sleeping and studying, with the master bedroom facilities occupying all of the first floor. The roof has been extended with a small volume to house a staircase, lift, and services with the remaining area turned into a large sunny roof terrace.

Although the treatment of the new surfaces is resolutely contemporary, the manners, materials, and colours of this extensive refurbishment have remained very close to the original atmosphere. The pure whiteness of the wall surfaces are only interrupted now and then by slim black metal frames of the new windows, the dark-stained wall paneling and furniture, the grey-white marble of the bathrooms, and the grey Indian stone and stainless steel of the kitchen. This house has been restored, transformed, and has only gained in elegance, smooth charm and international style.

Alberto Piovano