An apartment that hasn’t been touched for over 40 years is the sort of challenge Architect Nicolas Schuybroek lives for. Even more so when the apartment in question is located in an exceptional spot – like a busy street near Montparnasse in Paris’s 6th arrondissement of Paris.
Under the expert hand of Nicolas Schuybroek Architects, the JR Apartment has undergone a complete transformation from top to toe, with every space along the way presenting opportunities for exploration.
Schuybroek’s first order of business was to reconfigure the crowded layout and provide flow. Staying true to the original charm of the quintessential Parisian apartment, Schuybroek offered it the breathing space it needed, without losing any architectural integrity. A gamechanging decision was to invert the location of the kitchen with that of the bathroom, carving a large living space from what was previously three small rooms and giving a new lease on life to the communal space of the home.
The kitchen is now located in the very heart of the home. All wrapped up in brushed oak paneling with a sculptural marble counter at its center and a glass partition to let in natural light, it acts as the engine room of the house. Not a bad spot to spend the afternoon creating haute cuisine French fare if you ask us.
“The elegant finishing touch consists of vintage French furniture and Scandinavian lighting classics.”
– Architect and Designer Nicolas Schuybroek
What all of Schuybroek’s projects have in common is that he works with a restrained selection of materials. Far from limiting, materials repeat themselves in new manifestations. Carrara marble was used not only in the kitchen for the island as well as for the flooring, but it was also laid in the same chevron pattern as the wooden floors in the adjacent living room. Residue pieces were then cut into square tiles for the bathroom floors. Identical stained oak was also used on both wall paneling and built-in cupboards too.
As for the furniture, there’s a curated mix of contemporary lighting with more playful, vintage furniture pieces that create an interesting juxtaposition. Schuybroek’s eye for texture, surface and shape mean that each item has been carefully considered in its placement. From the Pierre Jeanneret upholstered cross armchairs and Ausgebrannt timber trunk stools by Kaspar Hamacher in the living room, to the hero Eero Saarinen Tulip Dining Table (surrounded in good company with Charlotte Perriand Meribel Chairs) it all seems more than enough to earn the apartment a gallery-like status.
A minimalism vision for maximum impact, this grand old Parisian apartment has been completely reinvented. Like his previous MK House project, Schuybroek’s relentless search for timeless, raw and tactile simplicity is at the forefront of all his work. Minimalism is a balancing act and one that Schuybroek has mastered, down pat.