1. Home
  2. Architects
  3. Biography
  4. Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck


A world-renowned French designer, Philippe Starck (1949) is the son of an aeronautical engineer and admittedly inherited his father’s creative flair to be applied “as if it were a duty”.

He has more than 10,000 creations to his credit, each of which “must improve the lives of as many people as possible”, regardless of the form an object takes. Therefore, from his professional ethics point of view, it is crucial for “an object to be useful before being beautiful”.
Starck studied at the École Camondo in Paris and began his career in the 1970s working at Quasar, where he designed an inflatable house, and at the Cardin fashion house, for which he created furniture lines.

In 1974, he moved to the USA, but then returned to Paris two years later. Here, in 1979, he founded the company Starck Products to market his previous creations, especially everyday objects such as watches, toothbrushes and chairs (the latter being a constant activity among his diverse works). Over the decades, his work also included motorcycles, boats, multimedia players, lamps and all kinds of furnishing products and tools.

However, his career took off with a series of interiors designed for nightclubs in France and the USA: the nightclubs La Main Bleue in 1976 and Les Bains Douches in 1978.
He gradually became more and more interested in architecture, taking a personal approach to the discipline since his earliest works, as can be seen in Café Costes in Paris (1984), with effects that “go beyond the usual perception” (Garcias).
In that same period, he also designed the restaurants Manin (1985) in Tokyo, Theatron in Mexico City (1985) and Teatriz in Madrid (1990).

Over the years, the latter has become a style model, since this former theatre was given a new function and was revisited with a creative and original touch, as can be seen in the foyer located in the former stalls area or the curtain offering a glimpse of the bar.
He achieved international fame with the apartments of French President Mitterrand at the Elysée Palace (1984) and by designing the Groninger Museum (1993), with Alessandro Mendini, and the extension of the “École des Arts Décoratifs” (National School of Decorative Arts, 1998) in Paris.

His products for the Alessi kitchen utensil lines are very well known, especially the Juicy Salif lemon squeezer (1990). With its “central body shaped like an upside-down teardrop, supported by three legs placed at a radial distance of 120° from each other, with a shape that resembles a spider”, this product is considered an icon of modern industrial design and was on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Starck’s fame has grown over the years, also as a result of his extensive and continuous design and interior design work for hotels all over the world.
Since designing his first hotels in New York (Royalton and Paramount) in the late 1980s, Starck has dedicated much of his undisputed creativity and artistic verve on working in this specific sector, to the point of launching the “YOO” project with John Hitchcox (1998), a world-famous “residential design and development brand”, with more than 50 apartments and interiors worldwide.

Also noteworthy are the Eurostar waiting rooms at the London and Paris railway stations, as part of the group’s coordinated image restyling.
“Over the course of these varied commissions, he did not develop one distinct aesthetic or a preference for certain materials. Rather, he addressed the needs of an individual client, whether it was the somewhat conservative character of state apartments or the more flamboyant tone needed for a trendy nightclub” (Enc. Britannica).

The private yacht “A” (or Sailing Yacht A), designed for Russian billionaire Andrei Melnichenko, the largest sailing boat in the world, is also worth mentioning. The yacht, which is 142.8 meters long and has a tonnage of over 12,600 tons, has a 90-metre mainmast and its emerged part is as high as an 8-storey building.

He taught at the Domus Academy (1986) in Milan and at the École des Arts Décoratifs (1987) in Paris. He was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1985), received the Legion of Honour (2000) and many awards including the Design Award (Tokyo, 1987), the Grand Prix National de la Création Industrielle, the Oscar du Design (Paris, 1988), the Excellence in Design Award from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1997), the Compasso d’Oro (2001), and the recent Lifetime Achievement Award from Designboom (2019).
Philippe Starck selected works, products and projects
- Sailing Yacht A, 2017
- Mama Shelter Hotels: Marsiglia, Bordeaux, Lione (Francia), 2012-2013; Istanbul (Turchia), 2013
- Orologio da polso LED digital limited edition - Fossil (2006)
- Eurostar Terminal, Londra (Regno Unito) e Parigi (Francia), 2002
- YOO Design Studio: residenze, hotel, interior design, sedi varie, dal 1998 (con John Hitchcox)
- Hudson Hotel, New York (USA), 2000
- Sanderson Hotel, Londra (Regno Unito), 2000
- St. Martins Lane Hotel, Londra (Regno Unito), 1999
- Mondrian Hotel, Hollywood, Los Angeles (USA), 1997
- Sedia Miss Trip - Kartell, 1996
- Delano Hotel, Miami (USA), 1995
- Motò 6.5 - Aprilia, 1995
- Groninger Museum, Groninger (Olanda), 1993
- Le baron vert, Osaka (Giappone), 1992
- Le paravent de l'autre - Driade, 1992
- Boutique Hugo Boss, Parigi (Francia), 1991
- Utensili da cucina - Alessi, 1990
- Ristorante Teatriz, Madrid (Spagna), 1990
- Paramount Hotel, New York (USA), 1990
- Lampada - Flos, 1988
- Royalton Hotel, New York (USA), 1988
- Ristorante Manin, Tokyo (Giappone), 1987
- Sedie - Driade, 1984-1986
- Ristorante Theatron, Città del Messico (Messico), 1985
- Appartamenti privati al palazzo dell’Eliseo, Parigi (Francia), 1984
- Cafè Costes, Parigi (Francia), 1984
- Sedie Costes, Saraphis, Ed Archer, Lola Mundo - Driade (1984-1986)
- Spremiagrumi Juicy Salif - Alessi, 1990
- Divano Dr. Von Vogelsang - Starck Products, 1978
- Sedia Easy Light - Starck Products, 1977
- Sedia Francesca Spanish - Starck Products, 1970
Official website

Related Articles: Philippe Starck

Related Articles



From the 31st of January to the 3rd of March, the works of the finalists and winners of the 7th...



Westway Architects: From the "Reti 15" Recovery, to Iconic Projects in Italy and Ethiopia

Westway Architects has transformed a former industrial space in Rome's San Lorenzo district into...



Huizhen High School: a campus that celebrates free thought

Huizhen High School, designed by the Approach Design Studio in collaboration with the Zhejiang...