SOL sat down with Paris-based Architect and Interior Designer Martin Masse.The minimalist Martin spoke to us about His love for contrasts ,the poetry of Paris, his Architectural start with Modernist Architect Joseph Dirand and his dream villa in Capri that encaplulates all that is Italian.
As an Architect and Interior Designer what does Aesthetics mean to you on both a personal and professional level?
Aesthetics for me is first and foremost a matter of proportion. In my opinion, everything in design and architecture is a matter of proportions. When use and ergonomics are perfectly taken into account, an object or the architecture of a spaces becomes beautiful. After this comes the atmosphere and poetry. It is at this stage that the work of an architect/designer becomes interesting and enriching. It is by playing with proportions, lighting, materials and senses that we tell a story through a creation.
Tell us a little bit about your creative process.
In my creative process I try not to follow trends even if they do influence me a lot. My goal is to offer as many objects as possible that can remain timeless. I find it important for a creation to live by itself as a whole. I always try to challenge this notion, I like the idea that by drawing on an everyday object it is possible to propose something different that is not related to anything we are used to seeing.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
I'm a big movie fan. Cinema remains my first source of inspiration. The atmospheres that certain film sets can create are, at least for myself, a true example for both interior architecture and design. I like to imagine spaces as a still shot in the cinema or a photographer's shot. It is not part of my daily life but I travel very regularly to Italy and this country as a whole represents for me the central nucleus of my inspirations.
You currently live in Paris- where do you go to seek inspiration?
Paris is full of places to find inspiration. Museums first of all offer an inexhaustible source of references. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris has a huge collection of furniture from all periods and I draw a lot of inspiration from furniture from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1950s. Then we have the chance to visit shops and restaurants designed by the best architects in the world. I would say that Paris as a whole, the ways of living here, the proximity it offers to all generations of creators and its history, the poetry it exudes makes it one of the most inspiring cities in the world.
When working on a project what is the first thing you look at for a space?
The first thing I like to observe when I start working on a space is its close environment. The building as a whole, its street, the people who live there are a good starting point to start working.
Where can one creep on your work?
Any designers/architects you would love to work with in the future?
I was lucky enough to make my debut as an architect with Joseph Dirand Architecture and he remains for me a true reference in his field.
What is never amiss in your own space?
I think that the ability to make a place poetic and timeless remains the most important element in interior architecture. This is what I try to do in each of my projects with more or less success.
I see you have a penchant for black and white- how would you define your personal style?
I have no preference for black or white in particular- what I like is the contrast. I like architecture or design without too much artifice, which exposes the essential and contrasts it with the environment surrounding it. In my opinion it is by playing with strong and asserted contrasts that we succeed best in intriguing or challenging.
Finally if you could sum up yourself in one design piece what would it be and why?
I'll pick a house instead. Villa Malaparte in Capri gathers for me all the qualities that I would like to transmit in my creations. Its simplicity makes it unique and reflects the image of its owner. In this house nothing is superfluous, it only lets express itself the exceptional landscape that welcomes it. It has the taste of a modern Italy inspired by the richness of its past.