Restaurant Alain Ducasse, an obsession with quality

Agatha Kari

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13 MAR 2017
A dreamlike, surreal atmosphere pervades the Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée restaurant in Paris, the realm of haute cuisine

Beneath a shower of a thousand floating crystals reflected in the mirrors and polished steel, you cross the threshold to the Alain Ducasse restaurant and prepare for an experience. Actually, the Experience.  This is what Ducasse, a three-Michelin-starred chef, and Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, who designed the interior, aim to offer. A collaboration consolidated by previous experiences and strengthened by the same obsessive attention to every little detail.

The restaurant contains two rooms: a breakfast room and another dedicated to haute cuisine, which feature different atmospheres, spatial organization and dishware. The Jouin Manku firm also designed the bar, which is characterized by a ceiling that disappears behind a drape, consisting of fluffy dark blue clouds.

As customers enter the restaurant, they are captivated by a fun change of scale: stainless steel plate cloches form the backrests of enveloping leather sofas, demonstrating the great skill of French craftsmen.

Circular solid oak tops rest on the steel and leather frames of the tables. The knots and grain of the wood catch the eye and invite the hand to caress, touch and experience the warmth of the wood, the softness of the leather and the solidity of the steel. The chairs do not simply move under the table – they silently slide, thanks to their sled base.

A niche is available for the most demanding customers who require intimacy, a shell that wraps around a single table and a sofa. Micro-architecture that resembles the hull of a boat, in which the inner plaster surface, with the imprints of decorations of the restaurant’s old screens, is protected on the outside by strips of curved oak.

The atmosphere changes throughout the day, revealing the secret of the mirror wall in the evening, which dramatically opens to show the history of the art of dishware, with Christofle pieces and Saint Louis crystals from the chef’s personal collection. A cabinet that is only visible to the eyes of those that taste Alain Ducasse’s starred cuisine. It is a treasure chest, which disappears, fleeting like every wonder, when the lights go out in the evening and everything is hidden behind a mirror.

 

Client: François Delahaye and Alain Ducasse
Project: Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku
Furniture: Poliform

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