Pierre Gonalons, Powerful Simplicity

Pierre Gonalons, Powerful Simplicity

The young designer Pierre Gonalons favours visual impact in his work. An impact that strikes you in this apartment that he himself designed. Concrete, marble, scorched wood: the central theme is clear. The materials are used to reflect the force of the concept. In details or more generously applied to creations under the brand name Ascète – his design house founded in 2004 – each of them here seems to bear witness to a clear fascination with Italy. Closely linked to that country whose history and traditions he elegantly plays with, Pierre Gonalons is never where you expect him to be. Designing products for prestigious brands, planning spaces, being an artistic director, and recently working on the international expansion of Paradisoterreste alongside Gherardo Tonelli. In order to further develop the oeuvre of the visionary Dino Gavina, he has even put his name to furniture and an exclusive range of rugs and fabrics. Pierre Gonalons is proactive and passionate; he is involved in multiple collaborations which in no way reduce the power of his creations. The reason? Profoundly marked by the extreme standardisation of our environment, this Frenchman has always chosen not to be influenced by trends. His line is undoubtedly true. He doesn’t over-design. A redeeming simplicity, like a response to the decorative arts, that you could never tire of.

Salon végétal Bois Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Pierre Gonalons, Powerful Simplicity

Pierre, could you tell us about yourself, please? What’s your background?

Pierre

 

I really like the term designer. I founded my publishing house, Ascète, in 2004 for which I create designs. In parallel, I work for many brands through my agency, Pierre Gonalons Studio. Since 2015, I’ve also been designing for several galleries and I produce limited-edition pieces under my own name, Pierre Gonalons Éditions.

How would you describe your personality in terms of interior design? Your style?

Pierre

Although I consider myself to be a designer, I really like the idea of decorating and not just designing, it allows me to bring a bit of fantasy into projects, which seems absolutely essential to me these days. My interior design tastes are somewhat eclectic. They can range from the height of baroque to minimalism, as long as the project is up to it. I often go for visual impact that, for me, reflects the power of the concept. I don’t really know that I should be describing my own style, but I like it to be seen as graphic and poetic. I bring in a lot of artistic references but take care not to make them too obvious. I seek to provoke contrasts, between the ideas or the materials, so that the end result is spectacular.

We are in an apartment that you decorated yourself, what was the central theme?

Pierre

i wanted to create a space that was slightly disconnected from hurly-burly, a soothing decor that encourages both work and rest, open and yet intimate, inspired by the monastic origins of the place. The central theme was the materials, concrete and marble – my two favourites – that can be found throughout the apartment.

Salon Pierre Gonalons Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Chambre Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Salle à manger Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Sculpture Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Marbre Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons Paris

Which is your favourite room here? The one you spend most time in.

Pierre

The bathroom, because it’s both raw and precious with the presence of concrete, marble, scorched wood and mirror. I like its “monk’s cell” feel.

Where do you go to pick up your pieces?

Pierre

I pick them up on the internet and at the Hôtel Drouot auction house. I also try to bring things back from my travels.

You’re very fond of Italy, its history and culture. What’s your relationship with the country?

Pierre

That’s right, Italy is an ideal for me. My mother was born in Italy and I’ve got memories of journeys and encounters that go way back. I’m fascinated by there being so much culture and beauty in every city. Every detail, every transition between epochs always seems harmonious to me. I’ve been an admirer of the work of Dino Gavina as a design pioneer for a very long time, and I’m now working on the renaissance of the brand under the name Paradisoterrestre, it’s a dream come true!

What would be the design piece of your wildest dreams?

Pierre

The really craziest would be a piece of lacquered furniture by Jean Dunand!

Salle de bain Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Pierre Gonalons, Powerful Simplicity
Pierre Gonalons, Powerful Simplicity

Which designer do you admire the most? Which period insopires you in your own work?

Pierre

I have several designers in my pantheon, but I think the work I admire most is that of René Lalique, who was an artist, jeweller, designer, architect, entrepreneur, engineer and also a genius of the decorative arts. In the same way, my favourite period is the years 1900/1915 all over Europe. They seem just as modern and inspiring today! There can be no doubt about the extreme quality of the production of that time, both intellectual and technical. I’m always amazed by it.

What plans do you have for the future?

Pierre

I’ve got furniture that will be exhibited at The Salon in November in New York, an exhibition in 2018 in Los Angeles, as well as new pieces for Ascète and Pierre Gonalons Editions. I’ve also got several apartment projects underway.

Do you have any favourite restaurants in Paris or elsewhere to recommend to us?

Pierre

For its dream location facing Piazza San Marco, I Figli delle Stelle in Giudecca in Venice.

Livres Bibliothèque Coin Salon Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Chambre Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons

Although I consider myself to be a designer, I really like the idea of decorating and not just designing, it allows me to bring a bit of fantasy into projects, which seems essential to me these days.

Entrée Salon Porte-manteaux Plantes Appartement Designer Pierre Gonalons
Portrait Designer Français Pierre Gonalons

Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: Textmaster @thesocialitefamily

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