Design & Decoration S01 ep7: Juan-Pabl Molyneaux, Molyneaux Interior Designer, [New York]
Interview with Juan-Pabl Molyneaux
I am a reporter, I am an observer, I can remove physically from all the places that I leave the best, put it together and make it work. People who have made a lot of money are very intelligent, and people who are very intelligent are also very quick. People come here, we work, and sometimes they leave as a different person.
KM – Why architecture?
You know there are some questions you switch from why to because! My first
toys were things to build. My fantasy was to build.
We had a nanny who usually when we went to bed would usually have to read
to us. My mother asked me about a story that we were told. I was telling a
totally different story, very, very, far from reality.
KM – So you were in your own little world at that stage.
But I believed in that.
I am very alert. That alertness gives me the fuel in order to develop myself and
keep walking on the road that I am paving.
When I wake up in the morning I do know that as soon as I open my mouth it
is to give an answer. You learn through your questions.
I am always at a disadvantage, because they [the client] already through my
work they have interviewed me, and I am in front of someone who I have
KM – So they know you but you don't know them?
KM – So how do you find out about them?
Well, that is the most provocative form of fantasy.
KM – Really
Right because I have to figure out how to ask the right questions in order to
get in a short interview the full scope of what can become my next three years
Because of my background, I can really have an opinion in a short amount of
time with people. With spaces it is instant. I have a Polaroid in my brain when I
go into a space. I don't have to think it twice and usually I will go always back
to the very first impression and that usually makes the most successful project.
The price tag is the least important thing. I mean I can combine the most
beautiful things and go to the best antique dealers in the world and then
suddenly I just do that little madness
KM – the twist
The twist that puts everything in another position and works perfectly fine but
that twist maybe something very expensive or maybe something that is just …
KM – But that is knowledge.
I am building a very large house. In one part of the house that develops in a
very grand and a very, very grand and a very, very extended volume it had an
open swimming pool and that cascades into a cliff. And then one day I said, it
is so perfect the project , I need to have that little twist of something to make it
alive. I need the pepper , I need the tango here because it is getting to be like
one more page that you turn, and suddenly I said the waterfall from the
swimming pool is fine, the layout is nice ,but who sees that ?
Because if you are swimming in the pool, you can get scared if you see it and
from underwater you don’t see it, and I said why don't we do the waterfall
So then came Frank Gehry to my mind and we enclosed the swimming pool
and I said the waterfall is not going to be the water, it is going to be the roof of
It is coming from this classical façade this kind of steel and glass thing falling
and it gave that magic that the house did not have before.
People who have made a lot of money are very intelligent, and people who are
very intelligent they also very quick. People come here we worked and they
leave and sometimes they are a different person.
KM – Where do you draw your energy?
Perhaps music. Music in my mind is a perfect rhythm of architecture. It is I go
from arch to pediment, back to column, up to arch, back to pediment. I mean it
is .. and it has a most beautiful proportion. Fauborg has its own music, Bilbao
[museum] is incredibly musical.
KM – You can do quite frankly anything, why are you limiting yourself to this?
I appreciate it that you say limiting. It is from building a Russian palace, to
building apartments in a floating boat, to deciding the colour of the upholstery
of the planes for an airline, for deciding a new line of bronze furniture that will
be presented in art galleries - I doubt that I have been limiting my life.
I designed a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
KM – But why the hell did they come to you, Harley Davidson of all people?
Well no because I was the one who proposed.
KM – So you sent them a little picture of a Harley Davidson done a la Rococo?
Oh it was featured. It was not a la Rococo. It was the most … I mean Pina
Farina would be jealous if he saw it.
KM – Oh O.K. so you can do the Pinafarina thing?
Of course I can and I still like to go with my wife through Montana and
Wyoming riding my motorcycle.
KM – Serious?
KM – You are really a bikey - an easy rider?
Oh yes, oh yes.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Juan Pabl Molyneaux, Molyneaux Interior Designers, New York