Interview with Architect Michael Herrman, Paris
In terms of your profession, how has Paris real estate changed over the past 10 years?
Over the past 10 years, I’ve found that the types of properties on the market have become more diverse. New insulation materials and silent air-conditioning systems are available. And city planners are open to improving the interiors of buildings. This means that ground floor areas, the upper floors of maids’ rooms, and other spaces not traditionally considered ideal residences have become increasingly accessible. They often offer more scope for creating beautiful, unique spaces than the more traditional mid-level apartments.
- What is your favorite neighborhood in Paris?
La Place de la Madeleine area in the 8th arrondissement (district). One tends to associate this area with the 19th-century Haussmannian buildings that you find around the Champs-Elysées and in the 8th arrondissement. But the Madeleine area is actually much older: the buildings generally date to the 1700s and early 1800s.
You also find the beautiful exposed oak beams and limestone walls of the Marais and St. Germain in the Madeleine. But they are usually of higher quality, with larger beams and more solidly-created structures. Many were built with the improved construction techniques of the period, just before iron structures ended the use of wood forever in the mid-19th century.
What do you like most about Paris in terms of its architecture?
The harmonious combination of history and modernity in Paris is truly unique. Other cities, notably many Italian cities, are also steeped in history and have incredible contemporary art and design scenes. But the old and the new tend to remain very separate. In contrast, Paris has learned to integrate the two. It negotiates the fine line between its rich history and cutting-edge design in fascinating ways. Many other European cities struggle with this awkwardly and often unsuccessfully.
Source:The Paris Property Group