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19 m² Studio by CR2 Architecture and FGMF Arquitetos, Paris

Located in a building of the early twelfth century in Paris (France), the studio with only 19 m², purchased by a Brazilian family in 2000, didn’t go through any renovation for15 years: carpet, curtains and rose-colored furniture lent an air of picturesque decadence to the property.

Designed by CR2 Architecture and FGMF Arquitetos

Photography by Fran Parente

In 2012, the Brazilian architecture offices CR2 Arquitetura and FGMF Arquitetos joined to sign a more functional and practical design. In a privileged location, the Studio is in the Île de la Cité, in a building built in 1118 and renovated in 1849. On the banks of the Seine river, the building has on its doors the images of Heloisa and Abelardo, a kind of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ who lived at this address in the twelfth century.

The Studio host the owners in their frequent visits to the city and, when not occupied by them, it is rented to tourists keen of a less conventional setting to get to know the city. With this in mind, the renovation should make it functional, practical and contemporary, without losing its identity.

"The idea was to make the studio attractive, and for that, it needed to be practical, economical and, in a way, neutral, able to suit different users," explains the architect Clara Reynaldo, partner of CR2 Arquitetura.

Being a very old building with limited space, the solution was to have new apparent hydraulic and electric pipes. The pink carpet gave way to a light wood floor.The heavy curtains were removed and electric shutters were placed outside the windows.. The kitchen, which formerly was inside a closet, was completely open. The old wardrobe was replaced by open gray shelves with a few closed white closed volumes: a desk, an area for clothes, and drawers for bed linen.

Furniture had to be as practical and minimal as possible so the architects opted for compact and versatile models. "Everything moves, it changes in some way. Only the bathroom remains fixed”, says Lourenço Gimenes, partner at FGMF Arquitetos.

For the architects, simplicity was the solution for the space itself. "After all, what can be more sophisticated than Paris itself with all its splendor?" Clara concludes.

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