isabelle stanislas

creator of concepts, luxury boutiques, residences around the world, isabelle has collaborated with hermès, cartier, céline, zadig and voltaire. she furnishes luxury apartments, houses and hotels for major collectors. her work has been exhibited at the museum of decorative arts, at the museum of modern art in the city of paris... architect of president emmanuel macron, isabelle stanislas has just redesigned and re-decorated the famous village hall of the elysée palace. interview with an architect who extends her dreams, between heritage and creation.

what nourishes you in your profession, what is the source of your inspiration?
accepting a project means consenting to the unknown, it means going to meet a place, delving into its history as well as that of people's lives, to finally propose one that brings them together. there is an alchemy that is created each time, a new story that brings together what we hear, the way of life of the people and the soul of the place. I believe in the deep energy of spaces, I feel powerful things there, I like to perceive what may have happened there, understand the reasons for the state in which it appears or in which it has been transformed . I like to return to the original state of a place, to its original reason for being. I only know how to work this way and above all I refuse to impose an architectural gesture!

Who are the people or projects that constitute references for you? my references combine the world of fashion, art and architecture, they are all characterized by this elegance which consists of putting their soul behind each of their creations. This is the only possible engine in my opinion. I love Kim Jones' work, both masculine and feminine, it's of a rare fluidity, very contemporary and perfectly timeless. There is also the geometry of Buren, its frank simplicity, this work on planks of raw wood at the start. He followed this idea to the point of making it an artistic performance, with proportions that are his own and an accuracy that belongs only to him. tadao ando constantly challenges himself, his work combines instinct, heart and balance. this self-taught architect works with the rawest materials that exist: concrete and the sun. finally mies van der rohe: he quite simply created the perspective, the hidden field of vision, the interrupted perpendicular line. you walk around and go from one place to another, simply, with very few doors, lines of sight that you don't expect. he creates a place with simply walls, perpendicular panels which give rise to ultimately circular navigation.

What compliment do you get about your work as an interior designer?
I have often read that my writing is minimal, that the lines are simple and pure... but what I prefer in reality is to be told that it feels good, that the balance is just right , how warm it is. because minimal does not mean freezing, on the contrary, minimalism gives free rein to the expression of each person, to the expansion of their own warmth. my job is to let people and life occupy the space. I was invited yesterday to the first dinner of the project that I have just finished...these are precious moments, the space and the people begin to live together, like a mechanism that begins to work.

the city that inspires you or resembles you?
I really like Florence, you can walk, stop, take a detour, discover a small square, hidden paths, enter an exhibition. everything is an excuse to stop. but I am still an eternal lover of Paris, and for exactly the same reasons. in architecture, we evolve on a very extended temporal rhythm, I like the fact that Paris is a barometer of fashion and of time which passes, between calm and storm every six months.
“I like to return to the original state of a place, to its original reason for being. I only know how to work this way and above all I refuse to impose an architectural gesture! »
what is the art of living according to you? how would you define your way of being and living?
it is knowing how to appreciate and receive. appreciate everyday life, where others would see it as banality, make each day unfold in a good way and approach it in a positive way, circulate the best energy, awaken curiosity, simply be happy of what we have, starting with the first coffee in the morning. and then receive... to rally energies precisely, to create and offer benchmarks, to awaken to the novelty and the possibilities offered by the life and the views of those we love, to rejoice in the happiness of others . receiving is a gift that we give to ourselves as much as to others.

your favorite themes in your creative approach?
whatever the project, there is always the notion of volume, light, material. everything is then a question of alchemy which allows us to create the emotion in the right proportion, which will make us feel good.

your reference project?
The Élysée, which is also my most recent project. it combines everything I've talked about so far. it is a place steeped in history that obviously had to be preserved while giving a new image. rather than on the decoration, I preferred to concentrate on the architecture of the place, on its circulation, its pilasters, ceilings and windows. it was necessary to restore the place to its vocation as a space of the French republic beyond the symbols found there. I was therefore asked to highlight what had been created under Mitterand, such as the openings, the perspective of the windows under which one could walk. I found this request to be very humbling. it was again a question of sharing, of discussion also with people who work there, over the course of presidencies, to understand how things happen and are experienced there.

what are your favorite materials, shapes or patterns?
concrete, marble, cashmere, silk, straight lines, sometimes a curve… I see beauty in many things, but ultimately what I like is combining opposites. because what is interesting is not the perfection but the accident. This is what fascinates me because it is a delicate exercise. I believe in the natural balance of things and opposites.

your biggest challenge achieved or to be achieved?
build. I have the soul of an architect which systematically makes me approach a project from its foundations. From the moment we create the base, the anchoring of a building, we can add satellites. I have built before but I would like to be able to approach a public place from its foundations, perhaps a foundation or a library.

your ritual in your job?
I always draw with a fountain pen, I like the feeling of sliding on the tracing paper, of the risk of this dragging pen slipping, of the need to control the line. as the project progresses, the pen slides faster and faster.
“receiving is a gift that we give to ourselves as much as to others. »
the type of architecture that annoys you?
the free architectural gesture, I would even say the architectural gesture itself. For me it amounts to dressing a building without fluidity or softness, without taking into account what it represented and its meaning. That's what I call arrogance. there is also the caricatured approach of wanting to focus everything on the exterior and forgetting the interior, or vice versa, ignoring balance.

If you weren't an architect, what job would you do?
I am convinced that decoration, architecture and fashion are narrative expressions. my dream would have been to be a writer. it's so beautiful and important to invent stories. I do it differently in my profession, but ultimately it is also a story. a fluid project is a project that you can express through words without even having to show it.

a favorite place to usually find yourself?
in Italy, a country that I really discovered two or three years ago. whether it is Milan, Florence, or Venice, each destination has its own architecture and characteristics. there is always a kind of music in Italy…

your favorite object? how much does he weigh ?
I didn't really have any. my fetish is recent, it’s a statement ring. It's ultimately more of an item of clothing than a piece of jewelry and gives me the impression of finally being dressed, of being ready.

what has weight in your life?
meaning, because we are only passing through, we must therefore find and create our own meaning, then share it. not listening, not smiling makes no sense, being unhappy even less so. giving meaning to your life is creating your anchor, from there everything is finally possible.

your object(s) on le gramme, what is/are they? how do you use the doors/doors?
I have three bracelets, one 41g and two 21g in brushed black 925 silver. I wear them in accumulations because I don't like separating them. I play with them, with their rhythm, their fullness and their empty spaces, placing the widest one in front, then behind, the openings above or below the wrist. I love the philosophy of this brand, the way it was created, the people behind it and what they did with it.

If le gramme were an architectural element or work, which would it be?
​the Guggenheim Museum. because you never get tired of it... the fluidity of the route means that you can spend an eternity there with the impression of having stayed there for 5 minutes. it is part of the decor. it is both simple and always in motion.
“my dream would have been to be a writer. it's so beautiful and important to invent stories. I do it differently in my profession, but ultimately it is also a story. »



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