Studio Marc Hertrich & Nicolas Adnet

The Paris Studio has been imagining, optimising and designing scenarios for over twenty years. Via the medium of interior architecture and design, it offers a certain vision of elegance, a cultured, respectful and approving look at history, but which is also serene and hungry for new technologies, arts and crafts and culture which transcends all barriers. Situated somewhere between a laboratory for ideas, a study on functionality and a piece of momentary poetry, the two artists tell stories from around the world in the hotels, spas and restaurants which they invent.

The reason why Marc is naturally passionate about design is because precision and refinement is a “family affair”. Five generations of cabinet makers have led him to know how to look at, appreciate, compile and choose among the effects of materials, starting with wood varieties, their different colours, their rhythms or the design of a cross-section.

A graduate of the famous Ecole Boulle, after having studied design at the School of Decorative Arts at the same time as cabinet making in Strasbourg, he “practised” in two offices before joining Michel Boyer’s famous architecture agency. He trained there with great enthusiasm “and discovered everything”; learned design, decorative precision, assembly, balance and came near to the “indefinable” which endorses the magic of the world of the highest end of the market. Curious and creative, he was spotted and chosen to decorate the Hotel Richemond in Geneva: his first contract and “a fabulous memory which was to launch my career”. He worked there for over five years, discovering the world of luxury. The extraordinary then became totally meaningful for the young architect.

Ten years after creating his agency, he travelled extensively around the great capitals, decided to stop over in Paris where a memorable meeting would give new impetus to his agency’s production; a man passionate about elegance, a self-taught man who was then working for Lanvin: Nicolas Adnet, introduced by a mutual friend. Two personalities and characters, but with an eerily similar outlook and desire to embellish everyday life. Nicolas was then working in the world of haute couture, admired Montana and the work of Yves St Laurent “the absolute master who embodied elegance, respect and impertinence, colour and style”.

The two interior scenarits quickly understood the synergy which existed between them as one of life’s gifts, joined forces and developed new projects together, imagining the decoration as if writing a scenario with joy and motivation. Their cooperation marked a new departure: that of large-scale projects throughout the world. They introduced the beginning of a new concept with Club Méditerranée - that of the upmarket villa in Mauritius (Villas d’Albion), followed by the gigantic project of Valmorel: its village, its 5-trident space and its chalets.

Nicolas acknowledges the multiple influence couture has had on his decorative thinking, starting with the spirit of creation “A piece of clothing is meant to enhance, not to disguise” he says. He applies this principle of simple access to beauty, clearly relevant in the studio’s work, adding a pronounced taste for attention to detail, another by-product of “Couture”. Together, they personalise their accomplishments with the natural richness of the places which they inhabit, being inspired not only by local culture, traces and traditions, but also by the unsurpassable talent contributed by craftspeople, true partners in design.

Thanks to this exclusive approach which forms part of a strong identity, the agency has expanded and currently employs more than twenty-five people. Nicolas and Marc share projects, ideas and emotions with respect to design, but always add their beautiful and personal third dimension: rhythm. This always forms part of a collection, alternating the little black dress, the tailored suit and the magical piece: a rhythm which moves boundaries in one bold wink of an eye. It appears in the composition of a lyrical song, enabling real musical communion. It determines harmony. The sources of inspiration are many, but Nicolas, when asked, spontaneously mentions opera, with everything that it represents: its ability to embody feelings, its alternating forces, power, vibrations and silences. When the duo imagines chic tables, they like to work with daydreams and escape. Some of the restaurants designed and decorated by the studio include Michel Rostang (owner of the restaurants Dessirier and l’Absinthe...), the Pourcel brothers with their first Cannes location “the Sea Sens” at the top of the Hotel Five, and l’Instant d’Or (Paris), concentrating on pure and absolute refinement. These places exuberantly associate character with impertinence, humour with tenderness, and elegance with pleasure.

Combining functionality with poetry, creating a “multifaceted trademark which is nevertheless recognisable” in the French spirit, is the direction which the two partners are taking, bringing with them in their enthusiastic and infinite production hotel flagships such as the Martinez in Cannes with its suites, particularly the Oliviers suite, awarded the Six Star Diamond Award where the world’s biggest stars gather; or the Grand Hôtel de Cabourg, a testimonial to hundred-year old luxury, renowned for its role in the beginning of sea bathing.

For Accor, they are helping to transform the Sofitel hotels so that they join the refined, highest end of the market in Lisbon, Marseille (the old port) and soon in Casablanca and Frankfurt. In Quiberon (Brittany), they have revisited the mythical thalassotherapy spa for the group, paying a fantastic tribute to Brittany…

Hotels belonging to large groups, mythical palaces, high profile and gastronomic restaurants, but also boutique hotels (Les Jardins de la Villa in Paris or the East West in Geneva), and private projects... the studio produces and designs many unique works serving the history of a place but also associating artistic expression. True creation is one which is shared and open to other players, builds bridges and links between the idea and production, the design and realisation; which brings together expertise and gives it full rein.