Planning a visit during Paris Design Week? Consider a visit the Institut Suédois (Swedish Culture Institute) in the future. If the your timing is right, you can visit apartments, that until now were hidden to me. The institute offers a free, guided visit (English is available) of their residence apartments for visiting Swedish artists and researchers. After 50 years, the apartments in the 16th century town house (hôtel particulier) have undergone a major renovation.
For a group of eight, you can take a guided visit until October 13, of residential apartments in the Hôtel de Marle in the Marais. The tours are usually given in French. If you wish another language, like English, show up an hour before. Tours are Wednesday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4pm. Go to reception at 3 pm and request an English tour. The Swedish Institute will arrange a guide for the exhibition “Hem fois 6” (Feel at home in 6 different apartments). There is a café in the courtyard while you wait. The tour is part of the “Swedish Design Moves” event to increase awareness of Swedish design in architecture, fashion and furniture.
Why would you want to make this visit?
The apartments for Swedish artists and researchers were redesigned, renovated and reopened in 2019. This year they have 205 candidates for six apartments. Artists have been competing for a short-term apartment since the 1970’s.
What you will see?
Beginning in the back garden next to the bush with the sound of water gurgling (actually a work of art with recorded sound) you enter side doors rarely opened to the public. Passing through the auditorium, a narrow staircase of wood planks and “tommette” (pentagon-shaped terra cotta tiles). Each room has a number and a phrased title, for example: “Murmure de couture” (Sewing whispers) or “Une chambre à soi” (Your own room).
Each room has a piece of furniture that has been in use for the past 50 years. The item (perhaps a chair, a lamp, a tray or a chest) becomes the core example for the design of the room.
Which way does the window open: outward or inward?
Designs sometimes come with small design flaws; the Swedish apartment designers were no exceptions. They did not take into consideration windows. French windows open inward in case one has a balcony; Swedish windows open outward.
The present layout design in some rooms (thinking of curtains and tables) call for user adaptability. This does not detract from the overall crispness of the apartments. If you like clever design (consider their use of tables in several of the rooms). A table is divided into two: One for working by the window, the other half the dining table for two. Put them together and you have a dining table for six. Each room has a different design for color, layout, kitchen, bath, closets. They range in size from 22 m2 to 38 m2.
“Swedish Design Moves” is a program that aims at increasing the international awareness of Swedish design, including the branches of architecture, fashion and furniture. The overall goal is to increase the number of visitors to Sweden interested in design as well as exports of Swedish design.
The program is led by Visit Sweden and is part of a Swedish governmental initiative.” Swedish Design Moves https://swedishdesignmoves.com. Visit the apartments exhibition “Hem fois 6” (Feel like home in 6 different apartments) until October 13. Tours are Wednesday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4pm. Go to reception at 3 pm and request an English tour.
33 1 44 78 80 20
11 rue Payenne
Métro: Saint Paul-Le Marais (line 1) and Chemin Vert (line 8)
Bus: 29, 69, 76 et 96
Vélib: rue de la Perle, rue Saint-Gilles
Wednesday – Sunday / 12:00 – 18:00
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Café Suédois :
Tuesday – Sunday / 12:00 – 18:00
Closed on Mondays