Three years ago, a contemporary of Dirand, a fan of his work, introduced him to her mother, the understated heiress to an Eastern European fortune. She had acquired two combined apartments on the Avenue Montaigne, alongside the world’s most lavish flagship boutiques. Without a local boulangerie, boucherie or pharmacie, it is not a place where most Parisians could imagine living, but it has become a magnet for international pieds-à-terre.

Dirand was presented with a more-or-less unlimited budget, complete creative freedom and two apartments totalling 6,500 square feet (600-plus square meters). The apartment is in a majestic early 19th-century Haussmannian edifice, where footfalls echo in the vast tiled inner courtyard. The winding staircase is embassy-sized. Up a flight, in front of 11-foot-high double doors, a jumbo box of surgical paper bootees awaits — an unsubtle sign that the soles of your loafers have no place in what may be the least family-friendly dwelling on earth. In fact, it would be more accurate to call the place a concept rather than a dwelling, given that the owner has visited just once in the months since the two-year project was completed, and likely will visit, at most, a few times a year.

Dirand was born to have a canvas this vast. His father, Jacques, was a famed architectural photographer of his generation whose work defined such magazines as The World of Interiors; his brother, Adrien, now shoots rooms for Architectural Digest; and his mother, Yveline, was a fashion designer. In a cloud of cigarette smoke amid the fashionably mismatched chairs of his parents’ Paris apartment, family friends, including the clothing designer Junko Shimada and Marc Berthier, the industrial designer, debated politics and painting. Instead of Disneyland, his childhood pilgrimages were to places such as Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp and exhibitions of Joseph Beuys. Dirand started making buildings around the age of 7; he would create them from detritus, “like a favela,” and engineer them so that, with the pull of a string, the entire structure would collapse in a glorious heap.

In this Paris apartment, his design sensibilities take a bold stand by setting a dramatic but highly minimalist stage and then filling it just so with a precise and determined collection of art, artefacts and materials.