First published in our 2014 publication, Beyond Indulgence, we interviewed the legendary interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, on his eponymous brand ‘PYR’ and idiosyncratic design style.

The first thing that strikes me when looking at your portfolio – even in the case of your more modernised or contemporary designs – is how much your work seems to reflect the values of traditional art composition. I imagine that this stems from your self-professed love of European classicism. Could you please expand on that for our readers?
In a sense you are correct, European classicism is my “first love”. It is what I learned and practiced at the L’ecole des Beaux-Arts. It is also the historical base for all architecture classical or modern. The principles of European classicism: balance, symmetry, and proportion are calming and give order and sensibility to a space. Even the most modern of architects use these principals to this day for the same reasons that PYR does. Also, I am European!


FSH GV_PHS_Living Room

Four Seasons Geneva, Living Room

You have stressed that you take into account the cultural and geographical identity of every hospitality client with whom you work but is it fair to describe your design motif as being predominantly Eurocentric?
We absolutely consider the location, and cultural and geographical surroundings of each and every project. So, no, I do not believe PYR is predominantly Eurocentric. For example, we are working on an exclusive luxury residential tower in Miami, Florida. Being a US-based project, we very much took the landscape and overall environment into our design. The interior and exterior architecture references the existing architectural style of Miami and of their people.


Following on from my first question – there is an incredible sense of balance to your work. Do you feel as if that is something that you have always had, or rather that it was a ability that grew and matured over time and with experience?

This has always been a very natural ability of mine, but of course it has matured. A design process is always growing and developing as we are.

FSH Florence_Lobby

Four Seasons Florence, Lobby


You and your team are renowned for taking a particularly thorough approach with your projects. At what stage do you usually become involved with a project? Or does it differ vastly on each job?

I am the very first person in the office to touch any project. I generate the design concept and then typically sit with the entire design team to brainstorm and come up with the final decision.


How, if at all, has your approach changed over the years? You are now recognised as one of the pre-eminent interior designers in the world today – so presumably people are quicker to cede more control of any given project to you and your team directly!

PYR’s approach has not changed over the years but has certainly evolved. It must! Clients and Owners indeed trust PYR to use our expertise to assist them, specifically in regard to design aesthetic, guest circulation and overall program.


Hotel Danieli, Dandolo Suite Bathroom

Hotel Danieli, Dandolo Suite Bathroom

In your opinion, is hospitality design primarily an industry that trades in aesthetics, marketing/branding strategy or guest experience? Naturally, the three are inextricably linked but do you think they have an order of importance and/or relevance for your clients?

These three topics are completely interconnected, so this is a hard question to answer. I believe clients often think marketing/branding strategy and aesthetics are the most important; at PYR we believe the guest experience is most important. This is our job. We are brought into a project to successfully combine aesthetics, marketing/branding strategy and guest experience, to best fit the client’s needs.


Pierre-Yves Rochon

Pierre-Yves Rochon

Does being so immersed in the hospitality industry must make it difficult to separate work from pleasure? Do you ever find yourself walking into a hotel and silently critiquing aspects of the design?

No, never. I try to enjoy the guest experience as a guest would in one of PYR’s properties. This helps me to learn and design better.


Do you have any projects coming up in the near future about which you are particularly excited?

Yes, many! Stay tuned…


What is your personal definition of indulgence – in a word, phrase or sentence?

To design!


Interview first published in Beyond Indulgence, available here:






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