Parisian style: Interview with Adrian Hunfalvay of Ciguë

Adrian Hunvalvay of Cigue
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With commissions ranging from Aesop to Yves Saint Laurent, design studio Ciguë has established itself as a go-to for fresh, stylish interiors and architecture. Vogue Living writer Marie Le Fort caught up with Adrian Hunfalvay, Australian architect and founding partner of Ciguë, who shares his perspective on Paris’s best designers and craftsmen.

Travelling to Paris in 1998, Sydney-born Adrian Hunfalvay was captivated by the art and culture of the city, and decided to stay on. “In Paris, everything revolves around cultural events and urban encounters,” says Hunfalvay. “Paris is an intellectual city where you express yourself with words, thoughts and creations.”

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After studying architecture at L’école nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris La Villette, Hunfalvay founded Studio Ciguë with former classmates and fellow architects Camille Bénard, Hugo Haas, Erwan Lévêque, Guillem Renard and Alphonse Sarthout in 2003. The studio has completed architectural and interiors projects for Aesop’s stores around the world, becoming their chosen architects, as well as fashion designer Isabel Marant’s Paris and Tokyo stores and numerous other installations, furniture, and architectural projects.

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Marie Le Fort (VL): Do you feel Paris is a design capital?

Adrian Hunfalvay: Paris is perhaps best described as a point of convergence for design, a showroom of sorts. Many designers come to Paris to show their work but few actually work in the city centre. You are more likely to find young French designers in the Parisian suburbs such as Montreuil, where we have our workshop. It is the historical area for craftsmen and factories so it made sense for us to set up shop there.

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Aesop Tiquetonne

VL: Where do you find the best craftsmen for your projects? Are Parisians exemplary at any particular crafts?

AH: We like to work with local craftsmen and form long-term working relationships, so proximity is key. Our design process takes place on the drawing board and in the workshop. For example, one of our local metalworkers allows us to come and work with them in their workshop if need be. It is a very hands-on approach, and we need to be able to collaborate with craftsmen to find different ways of doing things. The best craftsmen are passionate about their work and interested in working hand in hand, breaking down the traditional barriers between designers and builders.

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VL: Where do you feel design is best expressed in Paris?

AH: I think Paris has a strong emphasis on interiors. The façade of the city is, of course, quite old, and designers don’t often get a chance to be really creative on an architectural level. Yet some interior spaces are truly unique. The Palais de Tokyo is a good museum with rough spaces. London-based Carpenters Workshop Gallery, which opened recently in Paris, proposes a very good selection of designers such as Atelier van Lieshout, Vincent Dubourg, Andrea Branzi.

Merci is a great multi-label store: they have a high sense of selection and events. Part gallery, part furniture store, Merci mixes contemporary design with forgotten pieces, one-off pieces and basic industrial stuff. A good restaurant and nice space is Septime, on Rue de Charonne, which mixes modern accents with a genuine rural feel.

It’s very hard to break with standards in Paris since the brasserie still remains the model for many new places: the capital definitely needs to create new experiences and strange mixes, to remain creative and break the rules that make Paris monotonous.

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Read the full story, ‘Six Pack’, in Vogue Living May/June 2013, out on 8 May.

Words: Marie Le Fort
Photography: Eric Morin, Louis Basquiat & Ciguë, Thomas Dutter, Maris Mezulis, LG Fashion and Kozo Takayama

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Comments
2 Responses to “Parisian style: Interview with Adrian Hunfalvay of Ciguë”
  1. carlo says:

    fantstic !!

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