This old Parisian apartment received a new look in 2015 thanks to the efforts of French architecture firm CAIROS and the construction company Batimailan. The project, simply titled Duplex in Saint-Mandé, involved the renovation of the main floor and its attic.
The original layout and proportions of the apartment were awkward and difficult. It was this aspect that was first to be addressed in the revamp, with the demolition of existing walls and part of the attic. By opening up the attic they were able to create a mezzanine overlooking the living area below.
The long, narrow layout has very few window openings. On the main floor there are only 4 windows – one in each of the two bedrooms, and another in the kitchen and living room. The lack of natural light was addressed through the introduction of a large skylight placed above the living room.
The architects were challenged by the clients to create an open plan home while maintaining a degree of intimacy between the different rooms. This is largely achieved through varying ceiling heights, the introduction of a staircase, and “partial” wall partitions.
The new staircase helps to separate the entrance from the living room. The entryway also contains a small nook that accommodates a toilet. The main floor is split up between the homes two bedrooms, and a living room that leads into the dining area and kitchen. The master bedroom also contains an en-suite with the home’s main shower and sink.
The mezzanine contains a study space, the main bathroom, and two “mini-rooms” for the children that are intended to act as their own little getaways. The finish throughout is a mix of contemporary (the finishes) and eclectic (the furnishings).