Turning Montmartre flat into adaptive space perched on Paris

When tasked with adding space, functionality and light to a small-ish apartment on Montmartre- the tallest hill in Paris-, architect Alex Delaunay embraced the neighborhood’s stair culture (the local Metro has a 112-step spiral staircase, Montmartre’s Rue Foyatier has 300 steps) and created a multifunctional staircase wall to celebrate the “local climbing culture”.

After opening up the apartment by removing all the non-structural partitions, Delaunay took advantage of the apartments’ longest space to create a multi-use structure housing a small office, closet and geometrical storage stairs leading up to the former-attic-turned bedroom.

The furniture wall also has a window to allow daylight to pass from one side of the building to the other. The rounded stairs are sculpted from MDF (medium-density fibreboard) for a highly sculptural and affordable construction.

Located on the top floor of a seven-story walk-up, the apartment’s walls were cluttered with chimney flues from the apartments below (common in Haussmann-era buildings). Delaunay opened up the walls between the flues to add storage space.

In the kitchen the architect opened up more space between flues for cabinets. In contrast with the all-white walls and brushed stainless steel countertops the floors reflect the owner’s career in fashion (working with color swatches): it’s covered in 25 natural rubber strips in 14 different colors.

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  1. Niela Patricia Potot
    November 5, 2016

    Hi Kirsten! Can you feature more about container houses?? I really love your channel

  2. karmakameleon113
    November 11, 2016

    Does the owner have a cleaning person? There's no way she could maintain the clean look of everything by herself since it's all white. I would hate looking at smudges and scuff marks all the time. That amount of maintenance is very impractical.

  3. susuilu
    November 19, 2016

    the stairs are dagerous

  4. Yuhana Dewi
    December 2, 2016

    the stair is cool but not for a drunk and clumsy people 😀

  5. One Minute Architecture
    December 7, 2016

    Very nice project. I like the attention to detail, like the seamless stainless steel top, the bathroom profiled glass… Also really good editing. By not giving an immediate overview of the space, but showing the parts of the room piece by piece it really keeps your attention.

    December 14, 2016

    Love everything except the stairs. They're very dangerous. But OMGosh… the rest of it would be worth the money.

  7. Pinoy Potterhead
    December 18, 2016

    I la-la-la-la-love that slot in the bedroom (where you can talk to the people down in the living room without them seeing much of you) and that vertical garden in the kitchen. Thank you for showing us this wonderful home.

  8. Põòjã Singh
    December 23, 2016

    good …..very good

  9. burly636
    April 21, 2017

    Some of the aspects of it I like some not so much. Space usage is good, stairs are hazard, accident at parties, waiting to happen. I like some of the before better. Lots of plant areas so that is thumbs up alone.

  10. fingerhorn4
    May 9, 2017

    This is utterly ludicrous. The guy opens a tiny cupboard where there is a toy desk a child would find too small and he calls it "an office"!!! He then slides a tiny door and describes a tiny cell as the "kitchen" where the sliding door enables it to be "privatised". What are these people on? Instead of being honest and saying: Paris prices have now got beyond sanity and admitting that hardly anyone can now live in more than a shoe box, he pretends that this hideous little apartment is somehow desirable, cool and trendy. It isn't. It looked more attractive and more liveable before he got his pretentious hands on it. The stairs are beyond ridiculous.

  11. kirsten_ducky
    May 9, 2017

    It's so fascinating to see how a space can work for different people. I much preferred the feel of the pre-renovation apartment, just because it felt so open and light, but this clearly works for the owners. From one Kirsten to another, I find these tours so interesting! I'm hooked 🙂

  12. sheltered
    May 18, 2017

    The place lost the charm it had…too much "coolness"…the staircase is atrocious. A giant white box…

  13. Valadia Kristoffersen
    June 6, 2017

    This is amazing!! Kirsten is an amazing person, and I have seen quite a few of her videos. She is an artist and a genius!! I have a ton of respect and admiration for her. For what she has done, and what she continues to do. An incredible person to document these things for those of us who are stuck in the States, so we can live vicariously thru her!! Tusen takk, Kirsten!!

  14. Lisa Kilmer
    June 14, 2017

    Very interesting and very intelligent design. Like many other posters I liked the original but since the owner wanted a pared-down look the idea of a bank of cabinets beneath the loft was a very good one. I also think the stairs were not practical — a straight alternating-tread stair would have been just as good and less dangerous. I have noticed on a whole lot of these clever houses that the stairs have no or almost no railings and wonder how Europeans get away with it.

  15. Paul Wilson
    August 2, 2017

    Beautiful love it

  16. Kerrie Redgate
    September 8, 2017

    Hmmm… Don't like those stairs. They'd never pass the Building Code in Australia. (Very easy for your left foot coming down to slide right off the edge of the step!) Stairs are usually your best opportunity for storage, if you're clever about it (front-wise drawers from every step for narrow stairwells, or side panel drawers and doors for side-profile stairs.) The Japanese figured that out centuries ago, and even built their wooden stairs as actual free-standing cabinets!

  17. Berries1938
    September 14, 2017

    I'll trip and break my neck the first time walking up that thing

  18. Pamela Prizant
    September 22, 2017

    I like it! I love the gentleman's sweater – looks hand knitted. I know, I am a crochet, and knit design artist, and my specialty is garments, BUT his sleeves are a little short – you must measure twice, knit/crochet once! 😉

  19. Itir tansi
    October 8, 2017

    I wish you started from the apartment door and introduce each space one by one. I am confused where the entrance is and the bathroom? Why the two level bathroom. You lost so much space. You could have 2 bathrooms, up and down and why didnt you show the livingroom. We saw nothing but the accordion like doored closets. No sofa? You could introduce much better.

  20. hannah jane cutamora
    October 15, 2017

    Its too big space , i like some design of the apartment but i really hate the design of the room. Why he didnt make a room safe and has private from the living room? he shouldnt have forget the room . I hated the way he prioritized the cabinet than the room to sleep. .?

  21. Ana Smith
    October 28, 2017

    'Oui' to the apartment; 'non' to the stairs.

  22. bluedance lilly
    November 6, 2017

    Not a fan of the overly sleek wall of closets look. Too stark. And the clothes closet looks overstuffed. Not much space. The stairs look scary – no railing? Would be better to have drawers in the stairs, not a crawl space in the closet. I liked the room before the renovation better.

  23. Kelly DeBardelaben
    November 13, 2017

    FYI…when I see the word ADAPTIVE my mind immediately goes to the thought that this space would work for somebody with disabilities and/or somebody who has to use adaptive devices like a wheelchair or walker to interact with the world around them.

    The fact is that this space would never work in an adaptive way if you think about it the way I described it in the paragraph above due to all the climbing that is required to utilize this space.

    That being said might there be a different word to use to describe this space than adaptive????

  24. Nibbler800
    November 14, 2017

    Stairs look like a H&S nightmare!  Stylish tho'!

  25. puertousbmonkey
    November 25, 2017

    loved the invisible dog

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