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Online Exclusive - Éclectic, Paris

Apr 15, 2014

By Tamara Thiessen


Le Corbusier’s signature béton brut, or raw concrete, inspired designer Tom Dixon’s interiors for Éclectic restaurant in Paris—the first interior completed in France by the designer’s London-based Design Research Studio.

Housed in Beaugrenelle, a cylindrical glass shopping center with steel trusses located in the city’s 15th arrondissement, architects Valode & Pistre carved out the window-wrapped restaurant from a bland late-1970s building. Adjacent to the old Citroën car factory and Fondation Le Corbusier, the riverside zone is rich in vestiges of the area’s manufacturing history.

                           

Dixon says the 1970s buildings are ill loved by Parisians, but he revels in their industrial functionalism. “I think that Brutalism is making a comeback,” he says. “This is more in the spirit of a post-Corbusier, French pop-Brutalism. The departure point was the building’s extreme geometry, with the structure itself as decoration. The shell didn’t exist when we started, which was a real challenge.” Behind a revolving door, the restaurant’s vast space emerges with its concrete ceiling, exposed pipes, and girders of studio lights.

A showcase for Dixon’s love of natural materials and industrial technologies, his custom lights are a show stealer: A cluster of amber pendants forms a massive central honeycomb chandelier. “We wanted the lighting to feel like it was an organic part of the architecture rather than an afterthought,” Dixon explains.

                                            

The semicircular window provides views of the Seine river from several small lounges. “It's a very glassy frontage, and the floor slopes massively from one side to another, so we decided to create three levels with a kind of recessed dance floor. Hexagonal banquettes make a strong central feature over all levels.”

A continuous double-sided tan leather banquette runs through the center of the space, punctuated with chrome custom-designed bell lamps, marble tables, and aubergine-toned cone chairs. Royal blue banquettes encircle the window bays and are coupled with Dixon’s bespoke upholstered scoop chairs and overhung with square, wedge, and round ceramic lights.  

                             

At the back of the dining room, a series of semi-private tables encased in dark wood resemble honeycomb cells. The repeat pattern has an underlying meaning and multiple applications. “The service area is clad in geometric brass panels in a honeycomb motif,” Dixon explains. “‘L'Hexagone’” is slang for France, due to its shape.”

                                                 

The adjacent lounge area features high-backed lounge chairs, copper floor lights, and barstools paired with brass-topped tables with cast iron bases. Even the lustrous copper bathroom sinks—shaped like champagne coupes— exude a Le Corbusien mix of functionalism and aesthetic beauty.





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hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.

 

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Produced by: Emerald Expositions
Nielsen      Contract Design | Hospitality Design | K+BB | DDI



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