Friday, January 22, 2010

Favourite Designers Part I: Juan Pablo Molyneux...

Juan Pablo Molyneux was born in Chile in 1946. His grandfather was British, and deciding to travel to China from London ended up getting lost in Chile, where he married and remained.

Molyneux studied architecture at the University of Santiago, where designers such as Le Corbusier et al had previously studied. Molyneux was attracted to classical architecture fairly early on in his studies and enrolled at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he really developed his strong sense of classical design, with just a dash of the idiosyncratic eclecticism that makes his work unique.

Above: The foyer of his Manhattan penthouse. Note how the coffered ceiling is mirrored in the marble floor. I love the recessed lighting in the coffer beams - brilliant finishing touch.

His interiors are renowned world wide for being the ultimate in luxury: a combination of the comfort and opulence; of Neoclassicism and aesthetic Modernism. Molyneux said:

"Our roots are Neoclassical, but we are of course living in the 21st century. There are some aspects of the strict rules of Neo-classicism which we must apply - invariably constituting simplification and minimalization of the basic theme and addition of contemporary elements. That makes my interiors lighter, because I like to combine antiques with modern pieces." "I'm not in favour of repeating interiors from the past. That's all very well for museums or exhibitions. My knowledge enables me to translate highly formal Neoclassical architecture and interiors, adapting them to the present day and modern life-style. That's our strength."

Above and Below: A town house in Michigan

Above: Blue Dining Room
Below: Some of his Antiques for auction

He trained as an architect and went on to master interior and garden design as an extension of his architecture.

His clients are generally people with particularly refined tastes; and because the process of creation entails intense cooperation with the client, the designers must possess flexibility and a sound knowledge of architectural design. "You're working with the most sophisticated or powerful people in the world, [you] have to dig deep to make really good things happen."

"When you're developing a plan, it's essential to listen well. You have to come to grips with the situation quickly and discover how the clients live. You must always be aware that you're making a home for the client, not for yourself. The client's input is an important factor, although inevitably mistakes are made. The mistakes are often what makes a job interesting. If we only supplied perfection, you might wonder: for whom. The interior resembles a good cocktail party - by inviting different guests you get a pleasant overall result. People enjoy themselves and, although everyone looks different, everything goes together and looks attractive"

The Official Molyneux Website can be found here.

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