Duplex Art Deco

Henri Sauvage architect
Paris (75)

96 sqm
2 bedrooms
1 bathroom


This studio-building, completed in 1927, was one of the last buildings by architect Henri Sauvage (1873-1932), just before the Samaritaine department stores (1930) were built in pure Art Deco style.

On the 1st and 2nd floors with lift, this 96 m² (100 m²) studio flat features a superb south-east-facing living room illuminated by a large bay window, an open-plan dining room topped by a mezzanine, a fitted kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. With exceptionally high ceilings (5.50 m), this atypical two-storey flat combines light and space. A cellar completes the property.

The building is located in the heart of the 16th arrondissement, in a privileged part of Paris that was the ‘theatre’ of the Modern Movement and is home to many architectural treasures. The greatest figures of the 1930s, Pierre Patout, Le Corbusier and Robert Mallet-Stevens, each built several buildings here (notably the Laroche and Jeanneret villas, which became the headquarters of the Le Corbusier Foundation on the architect’s death, the five private mansions on rue Mallet-Stevens and Patout’s buildings constructed in a “liner” style).

The building, whose polychrome earthenware façade reinforces its bold plastic expression, houses artists’ studios in the form of duplexes, lit by a double-height glass roof. The artistic as well as historical value of this building, the originality of its name and the signature of the architect have earned the Studio-building its inclusion in the Inventaire supplémentaire des Monuments Historiques.

The tiled facade, designed by Gentil et Bourdet, a Boulonnais company, cleverly reinforces the interplay between the volumes, while the colours give structure to the facade by emphasising the projections and recesses: grey for the flat surfaces, brown for the recesses and multicoloured for the projections.

Henri Sauvage

Created for Jean Hellade, an arts and manufacturing engineer, the commercial operation was daring, even though the ‘studios’ were intended less for the practice of the arts than to satisfy the aspirations of the bourgeoisie of the Roaring Twenties.

Here, Henri Sauvage is adapting the artist’s studio to bourgeois living, as the architect André Arfvidson had done twenty years earlier in 1911 at 31 bis rue Campagne-Première. This studio building also has in common the original use of polychrome earthenware on the façade.

The provocative aesthetic of the façade and the juxtaposition of the two fashionable terms “studio” and “building” were very effective in promoting this building, which some critics see as a response to Le Corbusier’s manifesto project for “apartment blocks” (1922). The term “building” is a misnomer, but it reflects the fascination of the bourgeoisie with the innovative United States at the time. The name of this building, and the originality of its design and façade, played a major role in making it a part of France’s heritage, and led to its early protection as a Historic Monument in 1975.

With his heterogeneous projects – from the “Art Nouveau” buildings of his early days (such as the Villa Majorelle in Nancy, 1898), to the construction of luxury investment properties (such as the building on rue Vavin, 1913) and even hygienic projects (such as the swimming pool building on rue des Amiraux, 1925) – Henri Sauvage is irreducible to any one “school” or “style”. He stands out as one of the very few architects to have traversed the creative arc from Art Nouveau to the International Style with rigour and talent.

Additional information


Henri Sauvage


Paris 16ème