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HIGHLIGHT: JOSEPH DIRAND

Joseph Dirand Architecture

HIGHLIGHT: JOSEPH DIRAND

Joseph Dirand (born 26 March 1974) is a French architect and interior designer based in Paris. After receiving the commission while still a student, he started his own interior design firm in 1999, when he was 25, and drew public attention with his redesign of a flat facing the Place de la Concorde. After his creation of the new shop for Balmain on rue François-Ier, which has been called “the most beautiful fashion store in Paris”, he came to be in demand as an interior architect for fashion companies.

Dirand’s style is minimalist, often monochromatic; in his early work he largely used black and white. He emphasises strong lines, classic elements, lighting, rich materials, particularly marble, and the telling detail that brings an interior to life; however, he says that he designs “spaces that are alive” rather than “locations of contemplation”.His later designs characteristically use slabs of marble. In designing for retailers, he seeks to understand and reflect the “story” of the brand based on key images, typically 20 from an initial portfolio of hundreds.

Joseph Dirand Architecture

Joseph Dirand has been sharpening his eye since childhood, he knows how to see, a rare quality indeed. He sees the space and perspective of a place. His sense for composition comes from his creative family background, he has a scenographer’s eye and frames volume with extreme precision. He is sensitive to the way light plays on relief and flat surfaces, he analyses structure, notices the tiniest of details, observes a material’s abundance of features and appreciates the rightness of a color.

Balmain, Paris, France
Balmain, Paris, France
Dirand is sensitive and visionary, he took life by the horns the minute he graduated from the Paris-Belleville architecture school. His first commission, a house in India, became his graduate project. He opened his own firm straight away, motivated by the ambition to express himself and the need to get started, “creation was a need”. He evokes his masters: Le Corbusier’s for his commitment, John Pawson for his minimalism, Peter Zumthor for his timelessness and modesty, Carlo Scarpa for his precision, Eero Saarinen for his global vision. “I love minimalist architecture, the precise, clear vocabulary and the detail”. He plans his projects as both environmental and architectural endeavors.
Obumex, Paris, France
Obumex, Paris, France

Dirand’s precise commitment has borne fruit. He works constantly, on projects of varying sizes. Architecture and interiors have confirmed his signature style. The quality of his design and his masterful space management have made him stand out from the crowd in France and abroad. His “French touch” is highly appreciated in places where an “art de vivre” is of the utmost importance. A number of hotels and restaurants, luxury fashion houses and private residences have been marked with the seal of his incomparable elegance.

Weston, Paris, France
Weston, Paris, France

Within the firm, he draws the plans himself, working ceaselessly on each project down to the last detail in tandem with his colleagues.

Each job, regardless of size, takes shape after a long gestation period, bolstered by research into texture, composition, color, ambience, context and history. He objectivizes this impressionist reflex through bold choices and strong directions.

Le Jardinier Restaurant, New York
Le Jardinier Restaurant, New York

Nothing escapes his eye. He designs furniture and lamps for his architectural spaces to reintroduce beauty and intention to the object and thus participate in the story of the architectural whole.

Using his thought process and taste as a collector as a base, like architects from the modern movement, he has decided to create his first ever collection of limited edition furniture under the title “modernist”: “I’m prepared to answer for furniture if it manages to tell a story, my story.”

The Surf Club - Four Seasons Miami
The Surf Club - Four Seasons, Miami

At the restaurant Monsieur Bleu in Paris, Dirand wrapped the banquettes in greenish Connemara marble, his ode to the lush trees seen through the eatery’s verdant garden. (Marble is one of Dirand’s favored materials, though rounded and honed rather than flashy.) And a ’70s-inspired table for a Pucci boutique is made of the same stone that he spotted in the aristocratic fashion family’s 18th-century Florentine palazzo.

Monsieur Bleu, Paris, France
Monsieur Bleu, Paris, France

Most of all, Dirand notes, his projects, rich with craftsmanship, feel grounded rather than fleeting. “Ours is a period of consumption, but we want to create things that last.”

Alexander Wang Pékin
Alexander Wang Pékin

Source: josephdirand.com; architecturaldigest.com

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