In the fall of 2014, Vincent Eschalier delivered another restaurant for his good friend Charles Compagnon, who was distinguished by the Prix Fooding for Best Bistro 2014. After Richer and l’Office, two other gastronomic venues in the ninth arrondisement of Paris, this is the third restaurant that Vincent Eschalier has conceived for Charles Compagnon. In this latest project, Vincent Eschalier creates the architecture and interior design, and collaborates with Gesa Hansen for the execution of the decoration.
Located in a popular district of Paris that is undergoing an evolution, this project has transformed a former butcher shop into a cohesive space with an authentic atmosphere. The restaurant is finished with carefully selected, noble materials, while Vincent Eschalier does away with nuanced decoration and unnecessary staging. This allows patrons to focus on what is truly essential; the spirit that Charles Compagnon wants to establish. The atmosphere is warm and clear, thanks to a large bay window that overlooks the activity of Rue Faubourg. The restaurant has a terrace, which serves as a buffer between the clean interior and the activities of the street. This space is made up of a sober black lacquered window, a metal awning and a series of gigantic industrial lamps.
Inside, Vincent Eschalier has chosen to undress the space. The old brick and concrete walls are unmasked, the ceiling is exposed to reveal the ventilation ducts that service the kitchens, and black electrical conduit is used punctuate the room and give it the appearance of an industrial loft. For the lighting, Vincent Eschalier selected industrial suspensions and conical wall lamps to compliment the loft ambiance. In the middle of the room stands the bar, which is the center of attention. Square in form, it is covered with cylindrical strips of light, raw oak. The Carrara marble topping brings a touch of elegance while remaining within the register of authentic and timeless materials.
The furniture has been custom designed by Gesa Hansen and Vincent Eschalier. Square tables laminated in “bottle-green” are placed around the dining room in front of caramel brown leather benches. The larger central tables are trimmed with either a marble or wooden top. The wooden chairs take inspiration from 1950’s style, and vary slightly in height and in the shape of their backs to give a certain vibration to the room.
In this project, Vincent Eschalier sought to create an authentic decoration within the most functional space possible, from the dining room to the kitchen. There are no unnecessary or superfluous traits, everything in the dining room is directly serving the comfort of the customer or aiding the service Charles Compagnon’s team.
In short, it is a project that testifies the architect’s ability to study the bare elements of the restaurant experience, and to have those elements be the aesthetic statement throughout.