Laura Gonzales: Q&A with Maison et Objet Designer of the Year

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Success never ends for architect and interior designer Laura Gonzales, named Designer of the Year at 2019 Maison et Objet

Laura Gonzales has created a new image for the iconic Paris restaurant Laperouse at the Relais Christine hotel, worked at the 86Champs concept and signed the restaurant of the Salle Pleyel concert hall and the Cartier boutiques in Paris, Stockholm and Zurich.
After completing her training at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture (ENSA) Paris-Malaquais – one of France’s public architecture colleges – in 2008 she founded the Pravda Arkitect studio. She was first brought into the spotlight by her renovation of the Bus Palladium Paris rock club in 2010.

Ever since then, Gonzales has kept leaving her unique mark and style to a long list of prestigious locations.
The designer loves playing with fabrics, patterns and colors to create rich, sophisticated timeless worlds that overturn the standards of classicism and celebrate handcrafted creativity.

I like to multiply details, I want to make sure that wherever your eyes fall upon, there’s something interesting to see. I want to create places that have a soul

How would you define your style?
I draw inspiration from classicism and decorative arts. The outcome is a new take on classicism itself. I like to mix materials, eras and styles… I work a lot with intuitive, associative processes. The patterns is crucial to me, I like to be able to shape a whole world and give a certain place a particular spirit.

One of Gonzalez’s projects from December 2017: the 86Champs concept store. Born of the collaboration between Pierre Hermé and Olivier Baussan, founders of L’Occitane en Provence, it blends cosmetics and culinary arts.

concept store 86 Champs Elysées
Concept store 86Champs

How has your job changed since you opened the studio?
My job changes constantly depending on the projects I work on. When I started out, this is what encouraged me to look for and explore new, different horizons. And that’s exactly what I like about my job, the fact that I’m always learning thanks to new materials and colors.

What’s your method of work?
For each project, I surround myself with a team of people. We hold a series of meetings to find the right inspiration and then develop ideas together.

For example, what had once been the Passy-La-Muette station in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, later redeveloped as a restaurant in the ‘90s, was redesigned a few months ago. The space – around one thousand square meters – is inspired by the colonial style, with large brass mirrors, decorative paintings and Calacatta marble surfaces. Upstairs, the Café de la Gare was conceived as a winter garden.

Can you tell us about your future projects?
After being named Designer of the Year at Maison & Objet, I’ll hold an exhibition in September to present my collection in collaboration with Pierre Frey. There will also be a highly peculiar café I’ve worked on together with Pierre Hermé. In addition to this, we’ve once again been chosen to decorate and furnish AD’s event in Paris. For this 10thedition, we’ll introduce a dreamy set built around a summer pergola.

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