July 26, 2019

Sabo Project Renovates a Paris Duplex Apartment Perfect for a Family and a Feline

Beneath Mattias Ståhlbom’s pendant fixtures, chairs by Iskos-Berlin surround the dining area’s Studio Bouroullec table. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.

Considering the needs of a client couple expecting a baby is usual fare for architects embarking on an apartment renovation. But when Alexandre Delaunay was summoned for such for a Paris duplex project, he also had to factor in Sacha… the family feline. The Sabo Project principal not only gutted the 1,650-square-foot residence but also integrated elements to help the young couple navigate life with both a newborn and a pet—and that would keep said pet content.

The duplex occupies the eighth and ninth floors of a 1950s building with views of the Eiffel Tower. Part of the renovation entailed flipping the layout, so that the public spaces are now on the top level, with the three bedrooms and bathroom below. Another significant inter­vention was removing the stretched ceiling that had been installed during a previous renovation. “When you touched it, it felt like a balloon,” Delaunay remarks. He removed it to expose original concrete, which was then either painted white or clear sealed. After that, there are essentially just two other materials in the palette: Baltic-birch plywood for built-ins and white resin flooring, creating an envelope that’s airy, bright, and, most importantly, humble and easy to maintain amid the frisky occupants. Furnishings by the likes of Iskos-Berlin and Studio Bouroullec are equally minimal yet sturdy.

Custom millwork throughout the duplex apartment, in­cluding in the kitchen and around the spiral staircase, is clear-finished Baltic-birch plywood. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.

Connecting the two floors is a redesigned spiral staircase that Delaunay enclosed with slats of the plywood, spaced near enough together so no human or animal can slip through. A hinged gate at the top blocks the cat from the bedrooms while giving him run of the open-plan kitchen, dining, and living areas. “I felt bad for him,” the architect says of Sacha, the gated solution able to avoid his being relegated to the laundry room.

“Ironically, I’m allergic to them,” he continues. “But I still gave him my best.” That’s evident in the kitchen, where a small arched portal in the bottom of the sliding door, closing it off from the living area when the couple entertains, is matched by another opening in the volume containing the appliances and cabinetry. That latter portal leads to Sacha’s private bedroom.

The balustrade’s plywood slats are more densely packed below railing height. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
The spiral stairway’s slats terminate in a gate with a hinged door. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
Portals for the family cat were sawed into the kitchen’s sliding-door entry and appliance volume. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
Jean Louis Iratzoki stools line its quartz-composite counter. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
The stairs lead to the three bed­rooms and bathroom located on the lower level. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
Cement tile clads the master bathroom featuring a tub by Sieger Design. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
The master bedroom is partitioned by a custom headboard that incorporates a projector on one side and a closet on the other. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.
Composed of solid-surfacing, the wall-mounted double sink spans 4 feet. Photography by Alexandre Delaunay.

Product Sources: From Top: Habitat: Floor Lamp (Entry). Muuto: Pendant Fixtures (Entry, Dining Area), Lamps (Bedroom). Hay: Table, Chairs (Dining Area). Normann Copenhagen: Pendant Fixture (Kitchen). Treku: Table. Ahrend: Chairs. Alki: Stools. Caesar­stone: Counter Solid-Surfacing. Whirlpool: Hood. Sauter: Range. Franke: Sink. Brita: Sink Fittings. Zangra: Ceiling Fixture. Mosaic Factory: Tile (Bathroom). Cosmic: Sink. Dura­vit: Tub. Hansgrohe: Sink Fit­tings, Shower Fittings, Bath Fittings. Foursteel: Towel Bar. Emco: Round Mirror. Through­out: Farrow & Ball: Paint. Etc L2s: General Contractor.

> See more from the July 2019 issue of Interior Design

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