This two-storey penthouse was renovated by Hélène Van Marcke and is located in the eighth arrondissement of the French capital. The residence offers stunning views stretching from monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre. The architecture was kept sober and timeless, allowing the owners' impressive art and design collection to shine as well.
Based in Paris, Hélène Van Marcke leads the renovation and redesign of prestigious residential and commercial spaces in Europe and New York. Together with her team, she manages to approach each unique project with an open vision, inspired by the historical context of the location and the architectural structure of a building. As she lived and worked in Paris for more than a decade, she often came into contact with real plasterers, who instilled in her a love for the material. Stainless steel is another favourite of hers, because she finds the patina of rust on metal very valuable. Van Marcke takes us to Marceau, a duplex penthouse in Paris. ‘I was given creative freedom and the owners had great taste in furniture and art, which is important for me to have a project afterwards that feels personal,’ we hear from her. It was particularly important to respect the location and history of the place before renovating it. The owners also bought the floor above it, which immediately created a challenge. The interior designer was asked to create a beautiful whole and a good flow between the two floors, the so-called étage noble and the étage de service. A second important wish was to play off the perspectives of the landmarks as well as possible.
Playing off the perspectives of the monuments as much as possible
By connecting the attic rooms to the existing apartment below, the designer completely transformed the house. The plaster-clad staircase forms an interesting passage between the living and private rooms. The building has many beautiful Haussmannian details, such as bleached oak floors, open connections between rooms, plasterwork and detailing, and a glass-enclosed 'atelier d'artiste'. This provided a solid base to contrast with the paintings and the many eye-catchers in the home. These include a double daybed designed by Pierre Charpin in the master bedroom, an outstanding Brazilian sofa in the lounge, and a custom-made table by Nestor & Rocks. This gave the classic penthouse a contemporary renovation. The understated and timeless architecture allowed the owners' impressive art and design collection to shine as well. A mix of African elements by Maison Intègre combines beautifully with pieces by Van Severen, a vintage Gino Sarfatti chandelier & Paavo Tynell fixtures, and Sheila Hicks carpets. The project fits perfectly with the interior architect’s design language, as certain details and materials she likes to use can all be found in the apartment. In addition, the typical French architecture is completely in line with her design style. Structurally, however, the residence offered some challenges. ‘It was a very complicated site, but fortunately we could count on very strong engineers to completely overhaul it,’ Van Marcke concludes. Do you want to know more about Hélène Van Marcke? Read the full article in Imagicasa Winter 2022.
Photography by Cafeine