Located on the second floor of a 14th-century historic mansion, first converted into apartments in 1722, the 50sqm Apartment ‘Haut Marais’ is home to architect Thomas Fournier of Concina architecture et intérieurs who completely redesigned the apartment, restoring it to its former heritage glory.
Ep – 89
Originally a ‘Hotel Particulier, a mansion for the upper class, this 14th-century building has been owned by many families and transformed multiple times over the years.
One of these renovations in the 1980s saw the historical features completely removed, features that the architects looked to restore when they took ownership. Fournier set out to lovingly create a space that honoured the heritage, while introducing modern design techniques to maximise the tiny footprint.
A small entrance with a solid oak parquet floor greets visitors with mirrors that reflect the interior and hides storage.
The living area is divided into two spaces, a living room on one side and a dining room on the other.
The living room is composed of a large navy blue velvet sofa with bespoke Dedar cushions integrated between two custom-made bookcases.
A large frameless mirror screen sits against the wall.
The living area sits under the mezzanine which creates a lower ceiling. This gives the impression of a warm and cosy space.
The dining area consists of a large Italian wood dining table that comfortably seats up to eight guests.
Above the table is a vintage Murano glass chandelier and on the wall is a collection of plates from ceramicists Morgan Pascolini.
The kitchen is compact but has a view and ample light is available with a large window overlooking the street.
The space has been optimised to have as much storage as possible as well as integrated appliances.
There is a full-height storage behind the door with a large hidden refrigerator and freezer.
On the other side is a large marble worktop with a sink and plates.
The original staircase was placed at the end of the dining table, it was a straight concrete staircase and felt imposing and a helical-shaped staircase that dates back to the 1900s has been chosen.
The bedroom is accessed via the spiral staircase and is located in the mezzanine directly above the living area. It has no access to direct natural light and the ceiling is lower in this room at just over six feet high.
To combat this the wardrobe has been adorned with mirrors to amplify the available light and make the space look larger than it is. To generate privacy, it is possible to isolate the room from the rest of the apartment with a system of sliding shutters.
Also upstairs, and just off the bedroom is the only bathroom. Before entering the bathroom, there is a hidden cupboard that hides household storage such as a broom, iron board, and my washing machine.
The bathroom is relatively large for a Parisian bathroom at 6.3sqm and also has a nice window.
In designing the bathroom, the architect drew upon his Italian origins and used only materials from Italy.
At Never Too Small, we love seeing mirrors used to amplify light and create the illusion of a larger space. In this space, the architect has introduced clear glossy lacquers to deliberately further encourage the amplification of light. Clever use of materials and finishes to create a modern light and airy space that honours its heritage.
Photos by Alexander Nino