For all time – and now more than ever – the strategic formation of the couple, the duo, has been one of the most exciting and productive combinations there is. To believe it, one need only go to museums, galleries, and the walkways of great, international fairs. Throughout the history of art, particularly architecture and design, creative teams – married or just collaborators – have always occupied a very unique position. Ray and Charles Eames come immediately to mind, as do Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret, Lily Reich and Mies van der Rohe, or even closer, SANAA, Doshi Levien, or Pool. For each of these examples, it would be impossible to trace the individual paths of creation, for each duo’s history is imbedded in a constant process of counterbalance, echo, and trompe l’oeil. Furthermore, what is the interest? The couple is not a fixed image or diagram of proportions; rather, the duo represents a privileged space of exchange, of complementarity, and of mutual influence.
There is no doubt that Hélène and Olivier Lempereur belong to this family of artists, for so much of their work reflects an intimate knowledge facilitated by the continual interplay of their daily interactions. For every project, the duo receives and listens to the clients’ wishes, then interprets and translates according to the inclinations of their unique sensibilities. Then the process of creation begins, finding structure as the phases interconnect, binding together until culminating in the final realization of the clients’ dream. To this duo, Olivier brings interior design and cabinetry, drawings and first intuitions, spark and volume. Hélène, the stylist and art aficionado, contributes research and her unique use of materials, form and light. Two forces that unite to enhance beauty as it develops in volumes, like the depth of an eye rendered sublime by the light touch of make-up, or by the subdued harmony of a landscape that comes alive under the colors of twilight. With each stage of the process, the work of one is nourished by the other and even more, from their family life, from their shared history, and from all that unites them.
It is precisely these consistencies that form the richness of their style and agency. In every project, one can perceive this innate sense of harmony, this taste for soothing perspectives, for ampleness of volume underscored by the extensive use of wood, textiles, and works of art. There is always the same attention to light, to the effects of lighting, and to the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. Under the direction of Hélène and Olivier Lempereur, interiors produce multiple spectacles, combine perspectives, take shape, and are anchored in the present without denying anything of the past. Take, for example, the columns à sentir of the Frédéric Malle cabinet, the marble transparencies of a Parisian apartment, the striking, circular volume of a dining room, the echo play of a pool’s lines that merge with interior spaces, or the calming feeling of a lounge dictated by soft harmonies. For each project, Hélène and Olivier Lempereur offer a vision that surpasses the traditional framework of interior architecture and design: they give shape to their clients’ dreams, rendering them visible and desirable; in a word, habitable.