A historic 1825 Haussmannian building in the 16th district of Paris, between green parks and city lights, is where Lebanese architect Aline Asmar d’Amman calls home. The former Vogue Living Arabia cover star has designed and renovated some of the world’s most iconic addresses, including the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli and the Jules Verne restaurant at the heights of the Eiffel Tower. The founder of Beirut and Paris-based architecture and design firm Culture in Architecture since 2011, d’Amman has built a storied career working on projects ranging from hospitality and private residences to furniture and scenography. After years of impressive accolades, including collaborating with the late Karl Lagerfeld on a range of marble pieces and the renovation of the grands appartements at Le Crillon hotel in Paris, along with the launch of her own furniture line with the Invisible Collection in 2022, she has now been named president of the jury of the Design Parade 2023. A devoted interiors competition and festival, and the first of its kind in France, the aim is to create a free exhibition at the Eveché de Toulon.
The architect now opens the doors to one of her most personal projects – her elegantly curated Parisian home. With high ceilings and expansive windows that welcome floods of light, the bones of the space called for layers of textures, libraries, large-scale furniture, and art pieces. With the abode boasting open areas, d’Amman sought to exaggerate these views with more mirrors on the ceilings. “With my Lebanese blood and Parisian heart, a foot in my hometown and a magnetic bond with my husband’s Swiss heritage, life is divided between three cities I like to call home, and multiple destinations – sometimes more than one per week, following the flow of my design studio projects, Culture in Architecture, in Europe and in the world,” the architect explains.
The exterior of the building presents an antique character, with stained-glass windows gleaming with light in delicate patterns and lost colors. “I was privileged to be invited to contribute to the landmark’s restoration, keeping the soul of the building’s heritage intact and reviving details with the finest craftsmen of French savoir-faire,” d’Amman shares. Inside, she further added her personality to the seating areas and bedrooms, dotting the home with her favorite art pieces and designs across bold marble checkered and defined parquet floors. “When I visited this residence some 10 years ago, I instantly fell in love with the space and knew this was going to be our Parisian home,” she says. “I immediately adored the building’s extraordinary features, from the giant 19th century sculpted stone facade and the colossal wood door opening to the ground floor’s courtyard and theatrical staircase with the noble swirl.”
In the dining area, a console dubbed ‘Memory IV’ designed by d’Amman with salvaged fragments of rare marble and scarified Vicenza stone hosts a family 19th-century book beneath a Gabriel Rico wall sculpture titled Let not the judge meet the cause halfway. The entrance hall features a Zaha Hadid Aqua table that stands beneath a work in charcoal by Marie Khouri, displayed alongside a gold-painted vessel by Johannes Nagel. A Tai Ping rug, also designed by d’Amman, is spread extravagantly across the space. “A nod to Marie-Antoinette’s fetish almond green and pastel pink on the walls, the common spaces of the very ‘hotel particulier’ like building are adorned with rich ornaments framing grand classical details of intricate boiseries and ironmongery,” she says. “A few years later, we became one big family with our fabulous neighbors, tying special bonds and memories in these spaces,” the designer adds, reiterating her love of hosting friends and family.
The kitchen includes pendants by d’Amman and a ceramic installation by Mary-Lynn Massoud and Rasha Nawam that is inset in the upper cabinets. Here, the island combines stainless steel and black Iranian marble, which was also used for the tabletop. In the primary bedroom, alabaster-and-steel sconces designed by d’Amman flank a Curtis Jeré sculpture above the custom-made bed by Le Lit National, Paris, which features a headboard upholstered in Jim Thompson silk velvet and is dressed in a coverlet of Fox Linton silk and Pierre Frey linen. A vintage Italian Sputnik chandelier floats above a sofa designed by d’Amman and upholstered in bouclette, while the Stone Cloud tables act as an ode to her Invisible Collection. The dressing room also boasts pieces from the designer’s inaugural collection, bringing more of d’Amman’s personal touches with her Georgia seating clad in blush-color mohair, a design inspired by the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
Major elements of her storied home are the art pieces the designer showcases proudly across the property. The collected works, whether commissioned site-specific installations like the Mediterranean Wave by Lebanese artist Abdul Rahman Katanani in the grand salon, or the monumental sculpture Alive in Love by Colombian artist Ivan Argote in the bedroom, each piece serves to anchor the room in a permanent feeling of surprise. Other notable pieces include Giant Vessel by Johannes Nagel from the Fumi Gallery; a striking, multiple hanging by Indian artist Hemali Bhuta from the installation Stepping Down of Parasol Unit in London; and a photo by Claire Adelfang of the underwater marine base in Nazaire, France, all located in the main living area.
“A sense of celebration and unexpected encounters define the spirit of my Parisian home,” says d’Amman. “The celebration of love, family, and diversity is infused in every room. With an asserted freedom in combining old soul with contemporary creativity through the power of art.” In the end, life for d’Amman will forever revolve around the people that inspire her creativity, both at home and in her career. She adds, “Home is a feeling, a celebration of life and love, a nest for dreams and memories to be shared with friends and close ones.
Originally published in the March 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia
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