Design & Decoration S01 ep11: Christian Liaigre,Liaigre Architect, [Paris]
Interview with Christian Liaigre
It is really easy to design for people like Rupert Murdoch, Karl Largerfeld, and Mark Jacob because they have a strong personality and a strong idea of what they want. They know my work and we work to combine my philosophy with their space. I met Calvin Klein once or twice and we work mainly by fax. He writes me a letter, asking questions and I reply 'O.K. This yes, this no, etc'.
I am more an interior designer like in the tradition of the last century. For
example when I design a house I design also the furniture.
I was starting as an artistic painter and after a number of years I was very
upset to work alone; it is like a writer or a musician we work alone. At this time
I was in the countryside near Bordeaux and I was very attracted by the
KM: Which are the great designers that inspire you?
I am inspired not by other designers but by nature, reflection and deep thinking
about a project.
The world outside is so aggressive that I try to create calm in a house. When
the client arrives in the evening they enter in another space completely
different from the street.
Each time I try to keep the roots. For example we just recently finished a
house in Spain for Adolpho Domingez who is a fashion designer. When I
designed this house I tried to keep some details of this area of Spain.
It is really easy to design for people like Rupert Murdoch, Karl Largerfeld, Mark
Jacob because they have a strong personality and a strong idea of what they
They know my work and we work to combine my philosophy with their space.
I met Calvin Klein once or twice and we work mainly by fax. He writes me a
letter, asking questions and I reply "OK. This Yes, this no etc".
KM: They know, they understand.
I prefer to know first the personality of the client. It is more important than the
space and sometimes I refuse work because I am not compatible to their
KM: The chemistry is not working.
KM: So when the Chemistry works what happens next, what do you do next?
I visit the site and give some rough ideas, have a discussion with the client and
quite some time later, we present the plan.
The first impression is the vibration of the space and sometime it is a wrong
place because sometimes there is bad vibrations. I studied a long time Feng
Shui, and many things can influence a space. Maybe the light can be bad or
something violent may have happened in the space.
For example I am in a discussion with Francois Narse, who is a make up
designer in NY and he has a place in the police building in Soho. There are
very bad vibrations in this building and we don’t know what had happened in
the past, so I persuaded my client to change and he bought another
apartment. Afterwards he said, "You are right Christian" because he did not
feel well in this space.
Parts of this house are very occidental, but there are some parts very exotic
and we work the light like a Chinese house or something like that. This project
is very different; this is for a fashion stylist in Paris and it is woman, it is more
feminine but my furniture is always very solid very masculine.
Today we are working on a house on a private island near Bora Bora. We do
the architecture and we do more because we do find water, we do find
KM: Are you are serious?
KM: Because there is nothing there?
KM: So you have to develop the technology as well yes?
It is an island in the middle of an ocean.
KM: This must be very interesting.
Yes, it is.
We need space for personal harmony and to keep the mind very free for
thinking. For example for this industrialist’s family, they are very relaxed for
when they arrive in this area and he can concentrate on his work.
KM: Is this the same for people like Karl Largerfeld?
Yes, this is right
KM: They need somewhere to recharge themselves?
KM: Recharge their batteries
Yes you are right.
KM: Is this what you are tying to achieve here, a place where they can just
close out the world?
KM: And come back and find their centre?
If you have too many things in your house your spirit is disturbed. That is why I
prefer to my client to buy just 1, 2 or 3 beautiful pieces and choose them with
their heart than to have 10 pictures on the wall. Because it’s disturbing when
you sit in an armchair and you smoke your cigar you see many, many things,
which are not your real choice, and your mind is not free for thinking.
Recently I was in Milano with Rupert Murdoch to choose linen for his bed
because there is a nice factory here, and Rupert said, "Christian help me to
choose some jackets".
KM: You’re kidding. Tell me seriously, Rupert Murdoch shops with you in
Yes, we go for 2 days.
KM: So you went shopping?
Yes, we went shopping and was very happy
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Christian Liaigre, Liaigre Architect, Paris