G House



When he discovers a work of art, Olivier Dwek is generally interested by its deeper levels of interpretation. In architecture, he is fascinated by the superposition of different layers of meaning, or several historic periods. Three ages are superimposed in this rare townhouse. Three timeframes overlap in a respectful dialogue between their specific features. Built in the 19th century, the residence has retained its majestic, classical elements: mouldings, fireplaces, wide archways and windows with curved contours. Some of them have been replaced with windows identical to the original, in order to maintain the harmony.

The central staircase has been extended up a further floor: its wrought iron balustrade is an identical reproduction of the original one below, so that this intervention forms a seamless continuation under the skylight, allowing the natural light to pour down generously throughout the house. Yet in other parts of the house, the 21st century asserts itself solidly. In the sitting room therefore, we find a succession of surprises, rather like theatre sets. A classical wall has been opened up on either side of the fireplace, forming two entrances to a library designed by the architect.

Numerous practical and technical features have been incorporated within the decor, contemporary inserts in a classical context. The transition between the 19th century and the present day is assured by several icons of modernist architectural design. The social values expressed by the various elements of the whole point to the rift which forms between a certain academism and avant-garde creation: a duality that has nurtured the entire history of art.

©Serge Anton