This week, Sotheby’s is organizing a online auction for a very special cause. Organized to support relief from COVID-19, the sale raises funds for the International Rescue Committee. Star names like Sting and Hillary Clinton are involved, but for the design community, it’s Jacques Grange’s involvement that is likely to spark interest. The AD100 Hall of Fame member offers the opportunity to visit and discuss his famous Parisian house with him. Grange explains to AD PRO: “Like a garden, the apartment continues to evolve and grow. “
But while this sentiment may seem apt to describe many houses, it is particularly significant when applied to Grange’s own abode. Located near the Royal Palace and once the famous property of the French writer Colette, the Maison de Grange, through its various redecorations, has featured in the pages of A D on several occasions.
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In the January 2001 issue, Grange spoke to space magazine. “This apartment is about all the things I love,” he said at the time. “This is what is most important to me. I’m not interested in decoration as such but in an atmosphere where I feel totally myself and where I have all my favorite artists and authors around me. In the article, Grange went on to discuss his myriad of design influences. Emilio Terry and Madeleine Castaing were particularly important in the creation of the house, but that did not prevent Grange from becoming poetic on figures like David Smith and Jean-Michel Frank; “I greatly admire his work,” he said.
In September 2007, Architectural summary returned to the apartment. In this feature, A D delved into the exceptional provenance of the house and the personal history of how Grange came to own it: Colette’s daughter-in-law gave it to her after the family were ready to let her go. “This apartment is for you,” he recalls telling her. “When I told her I didn’t have any money, she rented it to me.” Later he was able to buy it.