Francois Catroux’s impressive body of work speaks for itself. Palaces, houses boats, planes – his incredible talent has created magic all around the world, and established him as a guru of taste. Born in Mascara to a prestigious French military family, he left for Paris as early as he could while never never forgetting the colonial atmosphere and elegance – the colours, the sensuality – of his native birthplace, Algeria.
François Knows how to create disciplined grandeur and majestic architecture while combining them with incomparable comfort; he knows how to achieve both scale and coziness at the same time. His first big job – the Milan palace of couturiere Mila Schon – was a triumph, and his marriage to Paris “It” girl Betty Saint the same years projected him on the covers of prestigious magazines and declared him the upcoming most talented interior architect. Furthermore, Francois Catroux would be easy to notice once that he was a close friend of Yves Saint Laurent. In fact, they were childhood schoolmate in Algeria.
“Catroux would be easy to notice once that he was a close friend of Yves Saint Laurent. In fact, they were childhood schoolmate in alegria”
Catroux has deliberately and serially rejected the idea of working in a single style. He is eclectic but never random. He is, to use an architectural term, site-specific in his approach. He is also a decorator whose work has consistently been “of its time”, evolving. Not so much a signature style – not at all, actually – as a signature sense of refinement embedded within multiple styles, from Mod to Neoclassical to Postmodern to other things not seen before, always responsive to architecture and to place.
He shoes no interest in slowing down, in reducing his workload or travel schedule, or in contemplating retirement. His office is flourishing and he begun projects in Saudi Arabia and New York City which are among the largest of his career. Accumulating Catroux’s work over the last five decades – quietly, relentlessly and brilliantly as Yves Saint Laurent and Paul Bocuse did in their fields and Henri Samuel and Emilio Terry once did in his – that Francois Catroux has lifted the field of design, serially and with complete personal authorship, across at least three different eras.
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