Tag Archives: Eero Saarinen

a perfect parisian pied a terre.

If the previous villa (‘Bohemian Beauty’, here) is my idea of the perfect vacation home, then this apartment in Paris and featured in the WSJ, may just be my perfect pied a terre. It hits just the right balance of minimal and relaxed, and proves that a minimal aesthetic doesn’t have to be uptight.

Walls throughout are lined with blond elm in a beautiful pale honey colour, floors are clad in neutral coverings. Materials are used simply and boldly – note the grey-veined marble in the bathroom used for the countertop, upstand, cabinetry and floor. I love this look.  A den is arranged in the centre of the space with wood-lined walls and warm-coloured, custom furniture; the master bedroom is lined too and can be closed off from the world with wooden shutters lining the windows. In the laundry, timber-lined cabinets add a richness to what is too often a sterile room of white cabinets. Artwork adds further warmth and personality.

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Detailing couldn’t be simpler – edges and nosings are square profile, ensuring surfaces have a solidity to them; handles are simple and square-profiled as well. There are no cornices and skirtings are kept plain. The furniture is classic Scandinavian – a white marble-topped Saarinen Tulip table in the dining room, elsewhere an AJ floor lamp by Arne Jacobsen and the Saarinen Womb chair. Accessories are neutral and bold of form, often cane or straw and beautifully simple. Heaven.

Apartment by A.P.C. Jean Touitou’s Parisian home via WSJ

Photos: Matthieu Salvaing

bohemian beauty.

I love the undone quality of this villa. A holiday villa, it lacks pretension and exudes character – exactly how a holiday home should be.

Vernacular elements – white washed walls, shuttered windows and beamed ceilings – set the scene. Then inside, a charming mix of provincial, art deco and midcentury pieces and objet have been brought together. With the exception of the sofa and Bouroullec armchair and ottoman, everything has been sourced second hand. From the brocantes of Paris, to local flea markets and antique shops, an array of wonderful pieces cohabit – pieces by Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Guariche (chairs and lighting), and Eero Saarinen Tulip chairs and tables.

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I could happily spend my summer here; what about you?

La Villa Familiar via  Photographs: Gonzalo Machabo

 

a very modern hotel.

Futurist, modernist, dynamic: the gull-winged TWA terminal at JFK airport is the epitome of mid-century design. Evoking a bird in flight, it is also a force in concrete construction. It was certainly a major influence on me during my architectural studies, as I poured over the images of this and other iconic modernist imagery by architectural photographer Ezra Stoller.

The TWA terminal was the last project by Finnish born architect Eero Saarinen (completed in 1962), who said of it:

All the curves, all the spaces and elements right down to the shape of the signs, display boards, railings and check-in desks were to be of a matching nature. We wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully-designed environment, in which each part arises from another and everything belongs to the same formal world.

It is this all inclusive design that gives the building its streamlined, organic quality; everything is considered, everything belongs (I particularly adore the sunken, built-in seating). It is perhaps this that became the building’s downfall; it was unable to adapt and expand.

The terminal is about to undergo a complete refurbishment as a hotel and museum. The photographer Max Touhey was given access to document the building alongside a team of surveyors using 3-D laser scanners. Touhey made 700 photographs, a few hundred of which were bracketed (several exposures of each shot are used to ensure the light is correct), or used in a time lapse video.

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TWA terminal, Eero Saarinen. Photographs by Max Touhey. Via wired.com; lattimes.com; somewhereiwouldliketolive.com

a parisian pied-à-terre.

51 rue Raynouard is an apartment block in the16th arrondissement in Paris, designed and built in 1932 by Auguste Perret. Perret is a seminal architect of the 20th century, responsible for heading the re-build of Le Havre post–Second World War (now a World Heritage Site), and for his pioneering use of reinforced concrete. He constructed no. 51 to house his design firm and his family, in an apartment on the top floor. His concern was not so much how his building looked from the ground, but rather how the world outside would appear from his building. Perret  wrote that the apartment ‘is filled with sunlight from dawn to dusk’. Now a listed building, architectural interventions are restricted and the architect owner has refused to make even minor repairs. But he has certainly filled it with pretty things…

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The walls throughout are lined with French oak panelling in the most beautiful pale honey colour, floors are narrow timber boards of a similar hue and columns are made from stone-blasted concrete, not the marble one would expect of the era.

The furniture is a master-class of design classics. In the dining room, black marble-topped Eero Saarinen table and Eames wire chairs. I spy an AJ floor lamp by Arne Jacobsen and Flos desk lamp. Red Utrecht armchairs by Gerrit Rietveld and his Zig Zag chair sit alongside more modern pieces – Low Pad chairs by Jasper Morrison and a Still coffee table which echoes the circular plaster feature ceiling above. A beautiful, circular stone basin sits within the turquoise-green bathroom.

Modern High Design Pied-à-Terre Paris, via Dwell, here, and ‘One hundred houses for one hundred European Architects’ by Gennaro Postiglione.

Photographs: Hotze Eisma.

Or do you prefer a pared back parisian, here?