The French architect is behind the design of the future Orient Express train presented in October in Paris and at the next Design Miami

October 2022

Imagine / Dream

A lover of adventure and travel literature from the stories of Paul Morand and Henry Miller to Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Kessel and Blaise Cendrars, Maxime d’Angeac is a Romanesque architect. After journeys to the ends of the earth and exploring every continent often by train, he answers High-Life’s “Travelers” questions. By Alexis Chenu.

High Life : Do you prefer to travel by train or by plane ?


Maxime d’Angeac: Definitely by train.


HL: Is there one particular trip that has impacted your life?


M.d’A.: In 1981, my trip from Benares (also called Varanasi), the spiritual capital of India, to Bombay, on a wooden train. It was a fascinating journey that took me across the country for 4 months, to Kashmir and Srinagar, the Venice of India.


HL: What is your favorite sound when traveling?


M.d’A.: The sound of the brakes when you arrive at the station.


HL: What do you hate the most when you travel?


M.d’A.: People who talk a lot.


HL: If you were designing the train car of your dreams, what 4 people would you invite on board?


M.d’A.: Writers Joseph Kessel and Blaise Cendrars, comic book author Hugo Pratt and my partner Macha Konchakova.


HL: What would you talk about?


M.d’A.: Travel stories.


HL: What music do you listen to when you travel?


M.d’A.: I have eclectic taste. Bach would certainly be on the trip. Jazz too, soul music from Donni Hataway, funk from Earth, Wind & Fire. Barry White by night. And piano from Michael Nyman, the composer of The Piano Lesson.


HL: If you had to take only one thing with you on your trip, what would it be?


M.d’A.: A book. A long, interesting one. One that would take the whole journey to read and that I would have decided upon at the last moment depending on the destination.


HL: What do you think travel will look like in the year 2400?


M.d’A.: There will be fewer cows in the fields, but the same dreamlike aspect preserved.


HL: Where will your final journey take you?


M.d’A.: To the Styx, one of the rivers of the Underworld in Greek mythology.

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