When French architect Benoit Dupuis arrived in Paris from his native Normandy at age 17, he experienced what he calls a “double shock”, discovering the beauty of the city and the people who lived there. Describing his first visit to the City of Light, Benoit recounts: “I remember seeing Notre-Dame on that stormy day, and I said to myself: ‘This is a place to live.’ Decades later, he’s still in Paris and now resides in the trendy ninth arrondissement, sandwiched between Pigalle to the north and Place Saint Georges to the south.
Make your own
Benoit’s apartment, located on the second floor of a late 19th century building, was already well known to the architect: he had renovated it six years ago for the venerable shoemaker Christian Louboutin and his partner Bruno Chamberlain. They considered opening their first store there but decided to leave the space, and when they did, they gifted it to Benoit. The architect now shares the apartment with his life and work partner, Luis Placido de Abreu. “The volumes were there and I just accompanied what existed,” said Benoit, taking over the apartment. “I redesigned the palette.
The intention has always been to keep the kitchen and bathroom as they were and to respect the original moldings and wood floors. “I found the oak floors so beautiful, they are old and not too varnished,” he recalls. One of the apartment’s most striking features are the unusual shutters he designed, which open like an accordion. “They add a brighter light feel and are nuanced,” says Benoit, referring to the two tones of white paint he used to give the panels an extra dimension. (Fun fact: The first time he designed interior shutters was for Keith Richards, a client early in his career.) Benoit is also responsible for all of the built-in furniture throughout the apartment, and that is was the first time he had designed pieces for himself. “I am clearly inspired by Le Corbusier, and as you can see, I love Alvar Aalto. I like the minimal spirit, and they are both architects and designers, like me, ”he notes.