Australian Institute of Architects, National Awards 2023

Wood Marsh’s new project Paris Apartment has been awarded the prestigious Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture in the Australian Institute of Architects, National Awards. The awards program combines winning projects from this years’ submissions across Australia.

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Jury Citation:

“Paris Apartment is the respectful yet extraordinary restoration of a seventeenth-century apartment originally owned by prominent French Architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, who designed the Grand Trianon at the Palace of Versailles. For Wood Marsh and Paris Apartment’s client, this was an opportunity to showcase their appreciation of history, contemporary art and modern architecture. Before the restoration, the apartment bore little resemblance to its original design. However, through careful historic research, analysis of a neighbouring apartment in the building and extensive engagement with French authorities, Wood Marsh was able to determine key original elements and details, and navigate a design solution that respected its historical significance.

The original wall-panelling and delicate in situ artwork were carefully repaired, and modern services were cleverly concealed behind traditional mouldings. These integrated services enable sublime, pared-back interiors without compromising on contemporary amenities. Original colours from the artwork informed the new salmon palette for the dining room, while crisp white and black were used to accentuate the original panelling and remnant decorations, and to provide an appropriate backdrop for the client’s exceptional art collection. All new insertions of joinery and furniture are spare, monochromatically aligned with each space and beautifully detailed.

Paris Apartment is exceptional not only because it is a beautiful balance between modern and historic design, but because of the design research and management process the architects managed to navigate with the French government from Australia during COVID. By all accounts, the work is celebrated and loved by both the client and the French authorities as a masterpiece of restoration and interior design.”