AD visits the new headquarters of Laura Gonzalez in Paris
When Laura Gonzalez bought the five-story brick building that now houses her company’s new headquarters, it was divided into seven apartments. It was a decision made after the death of its previous owner, Gaby Deslys, a silent film actress and one of the great stars of the belle époque. “We treat it like a mansion instead of as offices”, explains the architect, who kept many of the details of the early 20th century. Yes, there are work areas for your employees and also a fabric bar (textile library), with floor-to-ceiling shelves full of sample boxes, but definitely homey. A good example are the two kitchens, the first, perfect for coffee or lunch, and a larger one on the ground floor, which serves the formal dining room. “We want guests to feel at home,” he explains as he strokes Pam, his labradoodle, one of the many dogs that roam free on the different floors.
Gonzalez founded his company at the age of 24, when he was still studying architecture, but it didn’t take long for him to make a name for himself thanks to his work in legendary Parisian nightlife venues, such as Le Bus Palladium and Chez Régine. Hers is a luminous maximalism that she defines as “chic mix and match” and that is appreciated here to perfection. The walls are covered in floral prints, Jouy fabrics, stripes and damasks, in a plethora of cheerful hues. “Fabrics elevate the room, add texture and depth, and absorb sound”, Explain. In many of the rooms we find his iconic chairs Words, upholstered in a wide variety of rich textiles. also the table Rainbowmarquetry raku multicolored, handmade by the French artisan Fabienne L’Hostis. The idea is to show an endless number of possibilities that awaken the imagination of its clients, large firms such as Cartier or the exclusive Saint James hotel. The sky is the limit, and his projects include hotels in Majorca, Rome and Miami and the space of more than 5,000 m2 of the Printemps department store in New York. And in heaven (or almost) our visit ends, with a stop on the roof terrace and unobstructed views of the city. “The cool thing is calm,” he says. “Here we are, in the center of Paris, and we hear the birds. We will never move again,” he adds, looking over the tin roofs and the tops of the chestnut trees.