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Tristan Auer is raising the bar for interiors, defining what “haute design” means through craftsmanship and expertise. As the Principal of Wilson Associates Atelier Tristan Auer, his first haute design project to be completed is the Hotel Scribe in Paris, where he’s focused on bringing grandness back to the historic site.
Whitewall spoke with Auer about this project, as well as the harmony and fluidity of Parisian style.
WHITEWALL: Atelier Tristan Auer is the first haute couture design studio for Wilson Associates. What does it mean to be a haute couture design studio?
TRISTAN AUER: We wanted to showcase French craftsmanship, and the creativity, skills and expertise the atelier in Paris is capable of. Our responsibility is to ensure a project’s sustainability by keen attention to detail and made to measure designs only these artisans are capable of producing.
WW: Tell us about your first haute design project.
TA: We are working on the interior design of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, which is the first haute design project we signed. It’s an amazing opportunity to restore the former glory of this old lady. We have to give our particular attention to this project and we consider it an honor to assist in the rebirth of this historical building. When working on a project like the Carlton, we give a lot of attention to the details, the history and the different periods in order to find the right balance in design to let the past speak for the future. We’re also very excited about our work with another Parisian icon, Hotel Scribe, which will be our first completed haute design project.
WW: What is your vision for Hotel Scribe Paris Opera?
TA: The Hotel Scribe is a historical building with a rich past in the very exclusive area of the Paris Opera Garnier. The aim was to recreate a very typical Parisian ambiance with a modern twist by reviving the elegance associated to the grand era and historical significance of the hotel. This was achieved by staying true to the hotel’s character and style, while focusing on the masculine ambiance of a members club which was inspired by the Jockey Club once headquartered within this building.
WW: The design is distinctly Parisian—how would you describe quintessential Parisian style?
TA: Parisian style is a blend of different styles and periods that live together in a state of harmony, while remaining fluid by nature as the Parisian likes to constantly reassess and re-evaluate what makes a certain design distinctly Parisian.
WW: What has been the most challenging aspect of this project for you?
TA: The most challenging aspects comes from working on a historical building with a rich past. You must always be precise and appropriate to maintain the essence and spirit of a historical location. When refurbishing a hotel, the task is always to remove the “dust,” and make it shine again, not to implement modernity or the new ideas that can deter from its original glory. Our job is to help the building reconnect with its heritage.
WW: What is your top design must-have?
TA: My top design “must-have” is a one of the erotic Polaroids of Carlo Mollino that were discovered after his death. I currently own two; the aesthetic and composition of these works are so inspiring to me. I would also say an armchair by Pierre Jeanneret as I truly admire his minimalistic design in furniture. We could also add in a suit from Cifonelli that aligns with my passion for bespoke tailoring and artisans. Lastly, an Aston Martin, and a handcrafted watch from A. Lange & Söhne.
WW: What object or piece of furniture best represents your taste and style?
TA: Naturally the piece of furniture that best represents my style is a piece of furniture I designed, like the canapé Tweed from Pouenat. This piece is made with black lacquered aluminum, rush and frieze brass and patinated light bronze; the armrest is a combination of leather and wool.