Conversion and refurbishment of an apartment, Paris, France

With his move to France, our client was able to acquire this exceptional apartment in a central location in Paris. The special feature of this apartment is the central double-height room with a painted wood-beamed ceiling from the early 17th century. Unfortunately, due to alterations over the years, the ceiling was no longer visible in its full extent and was separated by the kitchen and small dark rooms.

After the client had started the basic planning for the conversion with a contrac- tor, VOSS Architects were commissioned to oversee the works as client represen- tative and to assist with the further planning of the design works. In this function it was most important for us to fully open up the central space again and to allow the ceiling to be experienced to its full extent. All other fixtures were planned with restraint and executed with reduced minimal details.

The ceiling with its painted beams and joists, beautiful medallions, Italian land- scapes, flowers and putti, wreaths and garlands, is one of the few remaining painted ceilings from 1640 in Paris. We were able to clean the paintings, which had darkened over the years, and thus restore it to its full beauty as the heart of the renovated apartment.

After removing the existing small-scale fixtures, partition walls and ceilings, we were able to fully reveal the central double-height room and the ceiling with its three panels of beams and joists. At the same time, the flat entrance became part of the main room again and the inner façade and its windows facing the entrance were free of fixtures.

In order to integrate the functions of modern living, an open mezzanine, containing a guest room with bathroom, was planned. The mezzanine is accessed by a single spiral staircase, which in its position defines the entrance area and spatially separates it from the living room. The kitchen was placed under the mezzanine and is open to the living room. The built-in cupboards at the back and a kitchen island and bar facing the living room offer plenty of storage space. A small guest toilet is attached to the kitchen under the stairs.

The bookcases and furniture to the living room were built in on both sides of the restored fireplace. The fireplace is situated centrally between the cupboards and thus forms the warming centre of the living room.

A separate more private living area for the owner is accessible directly from the entrance. It consists a second small living room with fireplace, the master bedroom on a mezzanine above and an en-suite bathroom. The mezzanine is accessed by an open wooden staircase set into the wall.

The guest bedroom is located on the opposite side of the apartment. It contains large new built-in furniture and a second en- suite bathroom. The dimensions of the floor plan and sections of the room have been designed in accordance with the proportions of the golden section.


© VOSS Architects 2020