Architect Laura Gonzalez is known for her work on iconic Paris nightspots, shops, private apartments, hotels and chic restaurants such as le Bus Palladium, l’Hôtel le Relais Christine, l’Alcazar, le Manko-Paris… She has accepted to share with MOM her selection of the most inspiring pieces.
Paris-born Laura moved to Cannes at the age of 3. She became a boarder at the Maison d’éducation de la Légion d’honneur, remaining there until she gained her baccalauréat qualification. She took a Bac ES (Economic and social subjects) but was very enthusiastic about art, sculpture, photography and painting. Having completed a foundation course, she decided to become an architect and enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Supérieur d’architecture de Paris-Maraquais. And she very much enjoyed it - particularly the workshops and the opportunity of submitting a new project each year. She participated in an educational exchange to Beijing and undertook a large number of internships with small architecture practices. “I learned how to draw” she comments. This was followed by a series of interior design internships.
Having gained a DPLG (registered architect) qualification and a degree from the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais, Laura Gonzalez set up her Pravda Arkitect practice in 2004, when she was still in the 4th year of her architecture course. She quickly surrounded herself with a dynamic team with a range of expertise: carpenters, stonemasons, cabinetmakers and artists with whom she was able to create interior designs.
She has transformed iconic Paris nightspots, designed chic restaurants, created the interior design for shops and private apartments and has revamped hotels... To this day, she has completed over 200 projects; hotels such as the Ermitage Hotel in Saint-Tropez, the Relais Christine in Paris. Her most recent commissions include Parisian restaurants such as Margherita, Brasserie Auteuil, Alcazar, Manko, Thiou, The Polpo, the restaurant of the Salle Pleyel and the Alsace which is the very latest. She has also currently working on the complete remodel of the Realis Christine Hotel in the 6th arrondissement, and the renovation of an upscale apartment building in the Rue de Bellechasse and a house in Miami. Second Empire style, Art Deco, 50s and 60s retro... she juggles different styles and defies conventions. She prefers working with fine materials such as brass and marble and enjoys mingling different materials: fabrics, wallpaper and textured finishes such as lime or Roman stucco, combining them all to perfection.
Her style could simply be defined as “classical revival”. Design remains her trademark. She undertakes projects of increasing magnitude with budgets which give her a chance to express herself. Laura designs just about every aspect of the project, including the furnishings. With meticulous attention to detail, she steers the design and monitoring process for all her projects. As far as this true enthusiast is concerned, the main qualities of an interior designer are the ability to think ahead and to be responsive. And she uses these qualities to the full. Each project brings new inspiration.
She studies the entire site and its history. “When you explore a project, you don’t have one fixed idea but a plethora of ideas!”. Suitable materials, precise designs, custom-made details are all taken into consideration to make the premises unique.
Laura enjoys seeking out new influences or buying original pieces. Her role models in the world of interior design are Gio Ponti, François-Xavier Lalanne, Madeleine Castaing, Kelly Wearstler, Tony Duquette... and, last but not least, the cinema, a great source of creative inspiration.