Built as an artist’s studio by a sculptor at the beginning of the last century and facing the Bois de Boulogne, a large public park along the western edge of Paris’ 16th arrondissement, it has grown with the times. It now has three more floors above ground and two basements on top of its original two with a minimalist interior and generous bay windows overlooking the park that were added by Lebanonborn architect Joseph Karam when he owned and later refurbished it in 2013.
“Normally, I would study the character of my client and try to understand and translate his dream into my drawings,” says Joseph. That time, however, was simpler as I was the client. He wanted to preserve the history and spirit of an artist’s studio while updating the home for function and comfort and making it spacious enough for a family.
To do this, he kept most of the former studio’s facade on the ground floor and first floor, making only light restorations, and then restructured the rest of the house in a markedly more contemporary style.
The result was an exciting blend of the modern and the traditional that incorporated some of the original home’s character with white concrete and a mix of Northern and Southern French styles that contrasted starkly with the black metallic architecture of the new upper floors.
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