How does a young “it” architect on the Parisian scene weather a year of ups and downs? By getting creative, of course. Julien Sebban, age 27, is the founder of the creative collective Uchronia, where he has his fingers in everything from art to fashion to architecture and whatever might fall in between. Naturally, his home is not only a reflection of his interests but of a new and evolving approach to what it means to work.
Located on the first floor of a classic Haussmannian building in Montmartre, Julien’s 1,011-square-foot apartment is anything but traditional. After returning to Paris from London about a year ago, Julien and his partner, Jonathan Wray, also a creative director, decided to completely rethink the classic Parisian floor plan. What was originally a traditional three-bedroom became one big room with six windows facing a beautiful garden.
The idea was to keep the majority of the apartment as the “public” areas, with the living room, office, library, showroom, dining room, and kitchen on one side and the private quarters on the other. “We now have just one big room of 70 square meters, which is unusual for Paris,” Julien explains. “We removed everything and separated the public areas from the private ones. We did a lot of work when we moved in, but kept the kitchen and bathroom in their original places.”
The entire space is full of Uchronia designs and productions. “My office is here and my showroom,” Julien continues. “All the pieces we develop, like furniture and lighting, are here and also a selection of curated items we offer, like purchases from the flea market.” And though the space is eclectic, there is one recurring visual inspiration: waves. Julien admits with a giggle, “I am obsessed with waves. This flat is an ode to the wave. The entire flat!”
Julien developed the concept for Uchronia while studying for his architecture degree at the Architectural Association in London. Uchronia means “a space without time,” and the creation of the studio involved personal studies on how sleep affects his life. Since completing his degree he designed Créatures, a 100% vegetarian restaurant with an urban garden on the roof of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. He is now getting ready to open another restaurant, this time in the Musée National d’Art Moderne, where he will also update the museum bookshop.
When asked about his dream projects, Julien pauses, and then almost whispers, “I want to do more public projects. I want to give access to a larger public and I want to design spaces which have an impact.” Big ambitions for a young architect, but at the rate he’s going, all is within reach.
⚒ Do It Yourself
Don’t be shy. Mix and match different dining room chairs around the table. It makes the setting lively, fun, and a topic of conversation.
Mix it up. Take a cue from Julien and make up a carpet of different carpet samples—it’s an unusual way to treat the traditional floor covering. As most designers say, the room starts from the ground up!
Experiment. Try personalizing your bookcase. Julien painted his library bookcase to “uplift” it a bit. He suggests spray paint or gluing cork or plastic mirror on the shelves.
Stick it up. To add pops of color and design interest, put graphic works directly on the wall (not necessarily framed), as in Julien’s bedroom.
🛍 Shop It Out
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Garage shelves, $128, Amazon
Barrel Chair, $3,347, Cassina
IKEA Stranne Lamp, Etsy