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.
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.
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.