Rémy, when did you first become interested in architecture?
I first began to study applied arts and, more specifically, spatial design at secondary school. A passion developed by Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art, Olivier de Serres (school of decorative arts) and a degree course at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette (school of architecture). After spending a few years at various agencies, including Edouard François’ agency, I returned to my first loves: interior design and furniture, and set up my own agency.
What is your favourite part of a renovation project?
I think what I most like about my job is the human aspect, it entails understanding the client’s way of life and making changes by improving as many parameters as possible through architecture. Regardless of the surface area, we usually think of space in terms of m³ rather than m² in order to maximise its potential and avoid any preconceived ideas of usage. The only constraints that exist in a project are those relating to the building (load-bearing walls, chimney flues, ceiling height, etc.) and the budget. It is essential to manage all these parameters head-on in order to achieve the best result.
What is the most unusual project you have had to do? Or the one you would most like to do?
Apart from the first project I did with my former partner: a little 25m² studio completely black from floor to ceiling, I would say it was doing my former boss Edouard François’ apartment, which we will present here in a few months. In more general terms, I would say that whatever the project is, the most important thing is to have a challenge.
What about wine? Are you personally a wine lover?
Cooking and wine are two of my passions, I cook a lot at home with my wife. I am also part of a collective, the Beefclub, which brings together lovers of fine wine and matured meat. It has allowed me to delve more deeply into and focus my tastes as well as discover others. For several years, we have visited Ampuis wine festival where we have discovered great wine producers such as Remi Niero, Guy Bernard and Gérin and we build on relationships with vineyards we already know, such as Stephane Ogier, Montez and Gangloff. I love wines from northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and also simpler syrah and viognier wines, which can be very surprising.
Is it a luxury, fashionable or just the obvious choice to have a wine cabinet in your home?
A bit of all three? In any event, I think it is important to be able to store these excellent products from our terroir (and elsewhere) in optimal conditions.
It is clear that wine cabinets have made storing wine in apartments more accessible both for beginners and experienced wine lovers alike. Personally, I do not have one yet, but I don’t think it will be long before I do.
Can you describe the agency in a few words?
In 2011, I set up an interior design agency, guided by a pragmatic, functional approach. I often say that a well-designed machine is usually beautiful, and this effective approach naturally results in attractive solutions. Over time, we specialised in renovating apartments and houses. Our agency now consists of 3 architects and interior designers and we treat every project as a new exercise in style, considering the project’s specific points, both in terms of renovation constraints and our clients’ requirements.
THE BOW-BOW PROJECT
Can you describe the BOW-BOW project, the renovation of a 70m² Parisian apartment in the 9th arrondissement?
This 70m² apartment, hidden away down a charming cul-de-sac in the 9th arrondissement, was a challenging, ambitious renovation project which required innovation and a break with tradition in order to obtain these 3 spacious, light rooms. The owners, who are lovers of furniture, art and wine, guided us through their vision of a balance between our intervention, the initial character of the apartment and the different pieces of furniture to be brought in.
The owners wanted to incorporate a wine cabinet into their living room. How did you take on board this request?
Given our clients’ passion for wine, it was obvious the wine cabinet was going to have an important place in the general design of the living room. The aim was to mature Bordeaux, Burgundy and whites for long-term cellaring whilst focusing on achieving a convivial atmosphere in the reception room and being able to serve guests wine at the correct temperature. Nevertheless, it was necessary to find the right balance between showcasing the cabinet and keeping it close to the kitchen, even though it forms part of another darker area. This dark blue “box” doesn’t just contain the wine cabinet, it conceals the bathroom’s bath, which we moved to the other side of the living room's load-bearing wall to gain space. The famous challenge that we enjoy in our projects.
Were the flush-fitting criteria, required to ensure correct functioning of the cabinet and bottle preservation easy to meet?
The cabinet is placed between two partitions with lower and upper air vents to ensure effective ventilation of the refrigeration system. In the end, the most complicated thing was the handle, we didn’t want a protruding handle, so we recessed it into the wall, and this provides a very elegant feature.
What were the design stages for the custom-made piece of furniture?
Based on several challenges we had to overcome: incorporating the wine cabinet on the one hand, and also increasing the size of the bathroom on the other side of the wall, we began development of an overarching process involving redefining and reorganizing space, resulting in the creation of this “box”. In the end, it is more of an architectural solution than creation of a piece of furniture. This dark blue “box” is an integral part of the project to restructure the entire apartment, combining the bath in the bathroom and the wine cabinet in the living room. It plays a vital role and also gives this apartment, rich in details from the end of the 19th century, an unashamedly bold, contemporary feel.
What was your clients’ reaction when they discovered their new apartment?
Even now, they are still delighted, even though we could almost have provided another little cabinet under the worktop on the dining room side, to satisfy their appetite for fine wine! The 3-temperature model allows them to mature Denis Mortet or Trapet Burgundy wines and François Mitjavile Bordeaux wines and also easily chill a delicious Ganevat white (Jura) or bring to room temperature a Harmand Geoffroy red (Burgundy) for dinner.
In terms of the apartment overall, the clients were satisfied with the balance we achieved between the elegance of the old and the boldness of the new, whilst offering them all the comfort they need for day-to-day living.
Rémy Bardin - BARDIN ARCHITECTE agency
THE WINE CABINET
Pure is one of our bestsellers. Designed to suit to your requirements, Pure recreates the exact condition found in a natural cellar to preserve and reveal the unique flavors of your wines. Presented in this project, the ‘‘3’’ temperature cabinet has several separate temperature zones for storing, chilling and bringing wine to room temperature.
Pure is not specifically designed to be flush-fitted. It is therefore necessary to follow precise installation criteria to make flush-fitting possible and guarantee the durability of the cabinet, especially for the air circulation. The handle of the "Full Glass" glass door is removable. In this architectural project, the choice was made to remove it to clean lines.
> Discover the Pure wine cabinet