Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Archive: An 18th Century Loft
Frédéric Méchiche transformed his apartment in the Marais district of Paris into an effortless hybrid of Louis XIV and 1960s loft style. In the library, the heart of the apartment, the stairs were pieced together by Frédéric from eighteenth century materials.
In the salon, 18th century paneling sourced from various locations has been patiently pieced together like a puzzle and then unified with white paint. The furniture is a mix of French and Italian 18th century with modern classics by Mies van der Rohe and Bertoia. All this is set off by a collection of African masks and 20th century art by Jean Dubuffet, Sol Lewitt, Laszlo Szabo and Joseph Beuys.
Another view of the salon. The mirror is placed in the corner to open up the space. A Louis XVI chair happily stands beside a Harry Bertoia wire chair.
Left: On the marble mantel of the library's fireplace, a collection of late 1950s Danish glassware poses with a photograph by Joseph Beuys. Right: A view from the dining room to the library. The sofa is by Florence Knoll, and the table and chair on the right are by Eero Saarinen.
Frédéric Méchiche in his dining room, lined with 18th century paneling. Frédéric designed the four granite and metal tables placed around the room, which are put together for large dinner parties. The chairs are Louis XVI and Restoration. On the wall, an eighteenth century mirror hangs beside photos by Robert Mapplethorpe and Raymond Voinquel.
The kitchen, in striking contrast to the rest of the apartment, is painted entirely in black. On the marble countertop sits a collection of 1950s - 1970s silverware, set off by the black and white photographs above.
The bedroom features a bed designed by Frédéric, with an extra high headboard. The wood floor is original, and has been left as is. On the wall is a work on paper by Jean-Pierre Raynaud. The chair is by Eero Arnio.
Left: Chairs by Harry Bertoia and Charles Eames stand beside a compression artwork by César. Right: A serigraph by Andy Warhol is placed above a bathtub from the late 18th century.
Frédéric Méchiche's confident mix of 18th century classicism and 1960s modern is a wonderful example of making contrasts work, keeping the formal elegance of an earlier era comfortably within a more easygoing loft living sensibility. Scanned from Marie Claire Maison, late 1990s. (Photography by Gilles de Chabaneix)