Wake up and skate. That's the simple concept behind etnies CEO and owner Pierre-Andre Senizergues's decade-long brainstorm to build a skater's dream home. Curved walls all the way to the ceiling. Countertops and furniture with grindable lips. And ribbons of concrete landscaping for a welcome mat.
"I've always wanted to create a world of skate culture, and that included a living space," says Senizergues, 48. "I can be in this house that is my playground and live my culture 24-7."
With that vision, in 2003 the former freestyle world champion purchased 100 acres atop Malibu's rugged Carbon Canyon. The ocean-view property held the remnants of an estate destroyed by wildfire, and Senizergues planned to redevelop with his new blueprint for skateable, sustainable coastal living. But he soon discovered that the city of Malibu and the California Coastal Commission have very strict building codes, especially when it comes to earthquake safety and erosion control. As the cost of compliance looked to be getting out of hand, he explained, it was time to put his dream on the back burner.
Recently, though, as the shoe giant celebrated its 25th anniversary, Senizergues's dream resurfaced as the etnies "Next 25" campaign pondered the future of skateboarding. With the help of his long-time skate buddy, artist Gil Le Bon Delaponte, Senizergues built a full-scale, 600-square-foot version of his original skate house, and this prototype (dubbed the PAS House, after the skateboarder's initials) is now on display through August 7 at La Gaite Lyrique in Paris.
Senizergues says he hopes that architects will be inspired by this new way of home design and that the excitement surrounding the exhibit will breath new life into his proposed 2,200-square-foot Malibu project, a miniature model of which is on display on the PAS House kitchen table.
Back home in southern California, there are still plenty of hoops to jump through to break ground in Carbon Canyon. To move the project forward, six months ago Senizergues brought aboard architect Francois Perrin to help take it a new direction. "The first idea was too complex for the site," Perrin told ESPN. "This one is more simple, more practical."
"The design has evolved," adds Senezergues. "It's much more pure aesthetically, clean looking, more in line with contemporary design. And it's turned a lot of people's heads. Skateboarders are seeing the house of their dreams."