Apartment Nicolai Paris / noa* architecture network
Text description provided by the architects. A young Italian family chooses as a pied-à-terre an apartment in the heart of Paris, between the blue-gray galvanized roofs and the banks of the Seine. The noa* studio was asked to design the interiors and help recreate the feeling of being at home. An exciting task, which deals with sensations, images and memories.
Among the many facets with which Paris has imposed itself in the collective imagination, one cannot ignore the noble mansions, elegant family palaces dating from the 18th century which stand proudly alone in the middle of the urban fabric. One of them, the Hotel Nicolai, was the origin of noa*’s first site visit to the City of Lights. The mission: to renovate an apartment occupying part of the second floor and the attic to make it the new home of a young family.
Spatial continuum. Following the design philosophy that has always marked the noa* approach, the interior designers began with a phase of research and intense dialogue with the client to ensure that the apartment would tell its story in the best possible way. possible. This resulted in the outline of a “nomadic spirit” of the owners as well as the reminder during the first interviews of an object which, for those who define themselves as citizens of the world, has a strong symbolic meaning: the shell in logarithmic spiral of the Nautilus:
“The Nautilus is one of the few creatures to have survived the Cretaceous period. This is said to be due to the shape of its shell, which made it feel at home all the time – such a well-designed shell that she made it possible for a hermit crab to survive from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day.”
The shell, symbol of domestic comfort, associated with Parisian inspirations gave birth to a project with a refined and timeless character. The curved line becomes the stylistic signature of the apartment: this undulatory movement is also present in the spatial distribution, the different living functions following one another naturally.
Custom designs. By choosing the fittings and designing the oak furniture, noa* wanted to convey the elegance of the Marais district where the property is located in the apartment. The color of the blue-grey marble, the fabrics of the cushions and upholstery, the choice of materials and colors for the floors, ceilings and walls are all inspired by the rooftops of Paris.
The ground floor has a service and guest entrance. From both points of view, the chromatic and material division of the floor stands out: the living room is in French herringbone bleached oak parquet, while the circulation corridor is in terrazzo. This track seems to divide the floor into two islands: on one side, a niche overlooking the Seine, where you can read or chat, furnished with oak seats and black leather cushions. On the other side, the kitchen and the living room, where the gaze falls on the elegant grey-blue “Bardiglio Imperiale” marble, used for the cladding of the fireplace and the kitchen top. The Chester sofa and a comfortable dining area with a bench complete the furnishings.
The focal point of the design was the connection between the lower and upper floors: a winding, organically shaped staircase visually extends the terrazzo hallway. The service area (laundry room, toilets, dressing room) follows the route of the staircase and is closed off by a curved wall. On the lower floor are also two bedrooms and a bathroom. The master bedroom is furnished with a freestanding bathtub, carved from a single block of “Botticino Fiorito” marble. Washbasins and shower surfaces are made of the same material. Distributing the loads created by the bathtub so that the old load-bearing structure could support them was one of the most demanding challenges of the project. The upper floor houses a multifunctional room equipped for a home cinema and a guest bedroom with a bathroom.
The result is a project with a serene, calm and welcoming atmosphere, an apartment with curved lines and the scent of wood, where you immediately feel at home.