Palais des Cristaux

by MS Design

This project was created for a workshop done in Paris France. While in Paris, I attended the Maison & Objet Paris and was able to see a large number of hand crafted luxury furniture, fixtures and more. My challenge was to create a project using only items found at the Maison & Objet. I accomplished this by incorporating furniture, fixtures and materials I found while there.

This project emphasizes the importance of Arts and Crafts, along with hand craftsmanship all throughout the space. The furniture used is all hand crafted and made from the finest materials. Fabrics and finish materials within the space are of the best quality and vendors available and show the elegance of Paris and what it truly means to have a luxurious space.

As you may notice the space has a large feeling of symmetry. The entire Club is mirrored on an axis that starts from the main entry straight through to the large curved glass wall. Although the setting of this club is in Paris there is a large presence of not only French creations but also Italian, and German works of art.

Client Profile:

Clement Mercier is a real estate investor in Paris France. He enjoys the finest things and expect nothing less. He recent came across this building and decided he wanted to start his own business. He wants to have the most exclusive bar and club in all of Paris. He expects everything to be of the highest quality and will spend as much money needed to get to the top. His club will be for the highest class in Paris and will frequently host VIP celebrities when they are visiting. He names his new business Palais des Cristaux, which in English means Palace of Crystals. In Clement’s words. “Palais des Cristaux will shine at the top and be seen from all of Paris.”

Concept Statement:
Using the highest quality, and most exclusive materials in all of France, Palais des Cristaux will be at the top. From the most famous brands, to the most expensive finishes Palais des Cristaux has everything a Palace should have. Crystals, kinetic lighting, and custom stone work make this bar and club truly one of a kind, and the most sought after place to be in.

• Views of the Eiffel Tower- This allows occupants to have the best view in Paris while enjoying their night out enjoying quality drinks in a quality environment.
• Luxurious Seating Material- Finishes on the seating are Pierre Frey Fedini Borghi Organzino. This silk velvet is 63% silk and has an abrasion test of 100,000 T, allowing it to be used in commercial spaces. The velvet is resistant to crushing and creasing and have a very soft hand.
• Swarovski Crystal Wall Cover- The walls in a large portion of the spaces are walled with Swarovski Crystals. This application makes the space rich and expensive, while adding a way for light to bounce around. The crystals are used on the hand rails, above the bar on the suspended light shelving.
• Ferris Wheel Bar Display- This custom designed bar shelving and display was of my own design. The shelves move like a Ferris Wheel allowing for the display and stock of hundreds of different liquors. This feature is plated in silver and accented with Swarovski Crystals.
• Glowing Italian Marble- The bar, DJ Booth, Dance Floor, and Wall accents in the VIP Lounges use this beautiful Antolini Italian Marble. When backlit the Marble glows of yellow and orange and creates a vibrant ambiance.
• Long Velvet Drapery- This drapery serves one main purpose, to amaze viewer. Because this space is used mostly at night the drapery is mostly for show but in the unlikely event it does have the ability to closed to the view to the exterior. The material used in this application is the Nobilis Velours Duomo.
• VIP Lounges- Although this space is made for the most luxurious lifestyles sometimes a VIP might come to the venue and request to have a private lounge. This is made possible with the two identical VIP lounges equipped with a private dining table for 8, and beautiful Kiki sofa by Munna with the Pierre Frey Silk Velvet. This space has just about everything the rest of the club has all in one room. The finishes are emphasized with 3 walls of Swarovski Crystals and one main wall with Antolini Italian Marble.
• Loft Space- This space allows occupant to have options and elevation change in the space. Guests can look down and enjoy everything down below and experience the entire club. Elevation changes happen all over the club making the space have movement and reflecting on the French landscape.
• Curved Bar- The club offers one main bar right at the top of the entry stairs and another in the lofted space that is an exact copy of the one below. The bars are made from the Antolini Italian marble and are a sculptural piece that serves as a main functional space of the club.
• Sculptural Furniture- Boca Do Lobo furniture and JNL furniture is used to make the accent furniture useful and works of art. These pieces of furniture are plated in silver allowing light to bounce around in the space and feel more expensive.
• Kinetic Lighting- Above the DJ booth and dance floor there is large kinetic light set up. This set up allows the nights to be synced with the music. During a song the lighting can change color and with the help of pulley systems the fixture move up and down to created movement in the large open space of the club. This “show” can be seen anywere in the club and created visual interest and makes the space come alive.
• Acoustical Sculpture and Lighting- These fixtures from Green Mood act to absorb the sound and also create accent lighting throughout the space. They act as sculptural are as well especially in the Loft Space.
• Swarovski Rug- These rugs by Sahrai are made of silk and are imbedded with Swarovski crystals.

Brands Used:
• Pierre Frey (France)
• Nobilis (France)
• Boca Do Lobo (Portugal)
• Swarovski
• Munna
• Green Mood (Germany)
• Antolini (Italy)
• JNL (France)
• Kinetic Lights
• Sahrai (Milano)

The location is in the general location of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. There is no specific building or lot of where this design takes place. Because this project used influences and products from all around the world it would be easy to incorporated this design anywhere in the world and in any city.

The purpose of this project was to incorporate my findings at the Maison & Objet in Paris, France. There was no budget and this allowed me to design without limitations of cost. Many of the choices made in this project are very expensive but all play a large role in the success of the design.

Space Size:
The overall sized of useable space is 456.71 Square Meters.

How is Craftsmanship Valued in the Project?
Just about every design decision made in this project is based off the idea of fine craftsmanship. The brands I chose to use believe in the highest of quality and their reputations because of craftsmanship are very high. The space also hold many ideas of craftsmanship designed by myself. The Ferris Wheel Bottle Displays, Hanging Bar Lighting and Shelving, and the variation in architectural and level choices show the presence of craftsmanship and the importance of Luxury design.

Name: Michael Stephen Schell

Age: 22 Years Old

Occupation: Student at Iowa State University

Field of Study: Interior Design

Year in School: Senior


My name is Michael Schell, and I am an Interior Design student at Iowa State University. I have been an intern in the luxury residential and hospitality markets. World travel has played a large role in my design career professionally and as a student, and has allowed me to create some lasting connections all around the world.

My first internship as an interior design student was at Holly Hunt in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Holly Hunt specializes in the luxury residential setting but is branching into the commercial world of design. This internship got me very familiar with brands like Pierre Frey, Nobilis, Dadar, Cassamance, Holland & Sherry and many more. This knowledge has allowed me to be more understanding of what I am specifying in a project and allows me to know the true value of my design.

My second and most recent internship took place at Heart of America Group which is the leading Hotel design firm in the American Midwest. My time at this firm was well spent and I was immersed into the ever changing world of Hospitality design. The knowledge I acquired from this internship allows me to understand the importance of money and cost. I have been able to realized that sometimes costly choices happen and eventually the reward will come in time. I specifically worked on lobby and restaurant design at this firm and took part in decision making on over five new hotel projects.

As I mentioned before world Travel has played a large role in my career as an interior designer thus far. Last fall I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Rome, Italy for five months while learning and working on luxury retail design. I was under the instruction of Simone Bove (Italy), and Claudia Campone (Italy and London). These two Italian instructors taught me the importance of luxury retail design in Europe and how spaces truly impact one’s view on money, and overall shopping experience. In January 2018, I was chosen by the chair of interior design at Iowa State University, Lee Cagley, to participate in an international workshop in Paris, France. During this workshop we participated in events surrounding the Maison & Objet in Paris and attended the convention. I was introduced to many new brands and my knowledge has grown immensely since I have visited.

As a senior in my program I have a lot to look forward to within the next year. Soon I will be on the search for a career in Interior Design and starting a new path in life. I hope to continue designing with the knowledge that I have acquired thus far, and hope that it will continue to shape me into the designer I am striving to be.