Orly Sud Airport
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Henri Vicariot, 1961

Orly Sud Airport 4th floor
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Henri Vicariot, 1961

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1975

Lyon Satolas Airport
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Guillaume Gillet, 1976

Lyon Satolas Airport
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Guillaume Gillet, 1976

Rendering, Lyon Satolas Airport
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Guillaume Gillet, 1976

Rendering, Lyon Satolas Airport
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Guillaume Gillet, 1976

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 2
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1981

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 2
Interiors designed by Joseph-André Motte
and architecture by Paul Andreu, 1981

As air travel evolves, we look back on the design and style of French airports in the 1960s and 1970s, a time when flying was still chic and the airport architecture and design reflected the futuristic optimism.

With a mind toward creating the ultimate, modern environment for the new generation of sophisticated and fashionable travelers, the French administration frequently commissioned Joseph-André Motte (1925–2013), one of the most substantial post-war French modern designers, to design several French airports with the best new architects of the time.

A figurehead of the French modern movement, Motte conceived the design for the Orly Sud (1961) and Orly Ouest (1971) with architect Henri Vicariot; Charles de Gaulle Terminal 1 (1975) and Terminal 2 (1981) with Paul Andreu; and Lyon Satolas (1975) with Guillaume Gillet. 

In particular, his work with architect Vicariot for the Orly Airport represented the marriage of structural and interior elements in living spaces. This genre of collaborative work between architects and interior designers rejuvenated the role of designers like Motte. Motte said “the profession of interior designer was born from the collaboration with a new generation of architects.”

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