Charlotte, Alexis: who are you? Can you tell us about your background?
We are interior designers and we decided recently to establish Necchi Architecture after a few years spent working in Parisian interior design agencies. We met while we were studying for our degrees.
What is Necchi Architecture?
Necchi Architecture is the fusion of our shared passion for architecture, the unification of our two identities and our shared aspirations.
Where does the name originate?
A few years ago we visited the Milanese Art Deco villa built by the Italian architect Piero Portaluppi for the Necchi-Campiglio family, the industrialists. We both fell in love at first sight! It is a house packed with details and the sensation we experienced while we were there was very powerful. It started out as a joke, but then it became the natural choice.
Which of you does what?
Alexis is very much a rationalist but quite crazy at the same time.
Charlotte is more sensitive and naturally channels my masculine side!
We complement each other. Neither of us has a specific task, each of us brings a touch of creativity. Our discussions can become very heated but without any feeling of excessive ego or competition between us.
Is there a Necchi Architecture style?
The question of sustainability is essential for us. We’re not looking to create showy room settings that look good on Instagram, but environments for living in. We prefer natural and vibrant materials that are enriched by light. We draw heavily on strong, and quite diverse references and we like to contrast them. We might say that our job is to respond to a context while trying to push its boundaries. Necchi Architecture is not about becoming frozen in a particular genre, but rather about trying to tell a story that echoes the place itself.
Did you design this apartment? How did you begin?
We have totally redesigned the space to suit our way of life. The apartment has to conform to our needs, and not the other way around. So, we have restored the original features and tried to preserve the history of the place as much as possible.
How did you make the most of its small surface area?
We wanted to keep it open-plan, to let in natural light while hiding as much as possible everything that is secondary.
Have you any advice for those who would like to do the same?
We don’t really have any advice to give. Everyone has to tailor their environment to their needs. It is just important to keep in mind that you must give maximum priority to storage while avoiding saturating the space with it.
What does the future hold for Necchi Architecture?
At the moment we are working on residential projects and a shop. We would love to design a cabin by the sea, and small-scale, minimalist living interests us a lot. Being more realistic, a hotel on a human scale would be really great.
What are your favourite haunts in Le Marais?
We prefer natural and vibrant materials that are enriched by light.
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily