With Its Serene Japanese Garden in the Middle of Paris, the Famed Home of Fashion Designer Kenzō Takada Has Come to Market
Step inside the designer's space, which renowned architect Kengo Kuma revamped in 2018.
In 1993, Japanese fashion designer Kenzō Takada built the Kenzo House in Paris, a serene enclave amid the typical Haussmann-style buildings of the bustling Bastille neighborhood. The four-story abode, almost completely hidden from view, is centered around a Japanese garden of bamboo, cherry, and maple trees enclosing a babbling stone-studded brook and koi pond—making for a calming atmosphere.
The nearly 14,000-square-foot home has now entered the market for only the third time since its construction, listed by Christie’s International Real Estate in conjunction with Belles Demeures de France. When Takada first listed the house in 2007, in an effort to downsize, the asking price was €12 million ($17.7 million). A later listing in 2015 showed an asking price of €13.2 million ($14 million). Its current asking price, following an extensive revamp, is available upon request.
Takada, who died in 2020, was a fashion maverick, known for his colorful and free-spirited collections that energized the ready-to-wear runways of the French capital starting in the 1970s. His first fashion statement occurred in 1973 when he increased the volume of the popular peasant style to create what was dubbed the Big Look.
His brand Kenzo—bought by LVMH in 1993 and designed by Nigo (creator of the Japanese urban clothing line A Bathing Ape) since 2021—continues to be lauded for its global aesthetic and whimsical spirit that fuses cross-cultural influences.
After retiring in 1999, Takada continued to produce a variety of luxury goods, including a signature scent in 2000. He also pursued art and, in 2010, his paintings were the subject of the solo exhibition “Un Certain Style de Vie.” In 2021, Christie’s, together with Artcurial, organized a sale of nearly 400 lots of Takada’s furniture, as well as 100 original fashion items from his personal collection.
In addition to his multifarious projects, Takada took a keen interest in his Paris hideaway, which took seven years to complete as the materials had to be imported from Japan. He told the New York Times in 2007 that he had been inspired by the Bangkok home of the silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson, “where authentic Thai architecture is mixed with Western elements like a crystal chandelier. That is what I was doing… I mixed everything, antiques and contemporary designs, Oriental and Western furniture and art.”
In 2016, the Kenzo House was purchased by the third and current owners Olivier and Isabelle Chouvet, co-founders of The Independents, a collection of marketing agencies that count luxury brands and museums among their clients, including MoMA, LACMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Chouvets commissioned renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma—designer of the National Stadium for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the Hans Christian Andersen museum in Denmark—to renovate the Kenzo House in 2018. Kuma’s upgrade preserved Takada’s vision of an eclectic mix of cultures by employing traditional Japanese building materials, most notably bamboo, ceramic, stone, and wood.
“Transparency is a characteristic of Japanese architecture,” explained Kuma. “I try to use light and natural materials to get a new kind of transparency…[to] experience nature more deeply and more intimately.”
Partnering with architect Loïk Corre of Atelier Kiol, who worked on Takada’s original vision, Kuma left the garden untouched, but did reposition the property’s four ensuite bedrooms in order to face it—characteristic of a Japanese home. Kuma also replaced an indoor lap pool with an engawa, a traditional Japanese exterior corridor crafted from wooden lattices, imparting a sense of warmth and a tactile quality to the home.
He also made slight modifications to the interior, which features French oak louvers, or slanted beams, that resemble the triangular form of the Louvre museum. He outfitted a Japanese pavilion, housing a tea ceremony room, with paper-lined shoji sliding doors and tatami mats. Other amenities of the Kenzo House include a music room, study, and three studio apartments for staff, as well as two reception rooms, two dining rooms, and two kitchens.
Eventually, the architect heard the verdict from the original owner. “I was so happy to hear that Kenzō loved the renovated house,” he said.
See more views of Kenzō Takada’s former Paris home below.
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