“This mellifluous minimalism has been created by Christian Liaigre, a Paris-based furniture and interior designer, whose noble, sculptured African-inspired stools and tables in wedge and iroko woods furnish the hotel. The result is a marriage of Franco-American style that seems both International and homey. Think of a bedroom where there are three telephones (including a portable), a CD player and a lounge lizard’s lilac banquette — but also a foyer where guests are welcomed with artsy books (the paintings of Alex Katz, the life of Paul McCartney and the art of Africa).”
Suzy Menkes, “Loft Life at SoHo’s Mercer: Zen and the Art of Hotel Serenity”, The New York Times, March 31 1998.
The last line of this paragraph from an article written just after the opening of the famed Mercer in SoHo speaks to something we’ve long admired of the late Christian Liaigre. He had a keen awareness of the elements that make a space feel both incredibly special and yet unexceptionally familiar. Perhaps ‘lived-in’ suffices. We owe a great deal of gratitude to him for his pioneering of the modern hotel ambiance wherein a patron is made to feel very much at home while being consistently reminded of the thoughtful details that encompass the hotel’s design.
Thought Liaigre was masterful in his understanding of both comfort and function, he designed with a level of restrained sophistication that was unique to that aforementioned Franco-American style. Born in France to a family of horse breeders, it’s clear that his appreciation for the small details of a design came directly from this equestrian world, where the color of stitching on a saddle would be as important as the quality of the leather from which it is made.
The Mercer Hotel, iconic as ever, comes clear to mind as the epitome of this effortlessly chic style, but only serves as one example within the vast portfolio of Liaigre’s work. In honor of his recent passing, we’ve chosen to focus our attention on several of his quintessentially “Liaigre” projects. You’ll find in the images below his designs for villas in Switzerland and South Korea as well as his flagship showroom.