French architect Joseph Dirand acquired his first Prouvé chair at the tender age of 17 and has favored function over form ever since. Now he’s creating his own kind of minimalism and injecting his signature Parisian Sangfroid into interiors for Rick Owens and Balenciaga. Here he discusses his architectural icons Carlo Scarpa and Mies van der Rohe, his predilection for techno and land art and his lack of pretense at home with family.
Joseph Dirand’s stark design articulates the sumptuous essentials. His aesthetic is wielded through a serenely—and masterfully—scaled-down approach. Slender and garrulous, the Parisian born-and- raised architect delivers French opulence with great restraint, accentuating both the past and the ultramodern for projects within his country (the Rosenblum Collection in Paris, the Villa Pierquin in Saint Girons), as well as exporting his finesse to places like the Saifi Penthouse in Beirut and the Distrito Capital hotel in Mexico.
His professional headquarters in Paris’ 9th arrondissement—where he was interviewed—is a luminous sixth-floor perch on the Right Bank with an unobstructed view over the city’s rooftops. The open-plan workspace for his staff of 25 is trimmed with neatly arranged groupings of every kind of material sample, and his personal office is equipped with a full library of art and architecture books and his favorite Jeanneret chair.
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