The Parisian restaurateurs Fabienne and Philippe Amzalak, after the renovation of ‘Le Bon’ and the launch of ‘Ma Cocotte’ – both designed by Philippe Starck – have opened in the XVth arrondissement the ‘Eclectic’ restaurant, commissioning the project to British designer Tom Dixon.
It’s a marriage between Parisian essence and Dixon’s British, modernist eccentricity. The final product brings us back to 1970s architecture: it’s a traditional brasserie transformed into a unique, true restaurant/flagship store with great added value.
Dixon has chosen brutalism, and he wins you over with his skill in combining harsh, unalloyed materials with objects and shapes, and with an uncompromising choice of colors.
The floors are raw concrete, partly waxed and partly carpeted, though always maintaining the desired ‘primitive’ effect. The entrance plinth and the supporting pillars are also left raw, communicating, together with the flooring, a message of industrial-like essentiality. The walls are covered with scintillating golden brass panels, interspersed with cabinets carved out of golden recesses, with golden accessories designed by Dixon. Don’t be mislead by the contrast: the ‘golden’ features are a purely architectural marker, with no pretence of letting ‘Eclectic’ be perceived as a luxury venue.
The golden panels feature hexagonal shapes which recur throughout the restaurant, and are the same as the large, distinctive chandelier in the lobby: the genuine signature of Tom Dixon’s interiors.
Furnishings are of course all custom-made.
Starting from the customers’ tables, which are worked out of alcoves made from long, low curvilinear wooden structures. They both mark out the dining-tables area and separate it from the lobby and after-dinner area, and from the open-view kitchen.
The choice for sofas and chairs in the lobby area, overlooking the Seine flowing just a few meters away, is a harmonious blend of fabric and leather. 124 Tom Dixon lampshades are scattered throughout the venue, while tables and lobby are illuminated by light, overhanging lamps which, in some cases, follow the style and shape of the large central chandelier.
‘Eclectic’ is a distinctive venue in which a traditional French brasserie lives on in a new, smart and welcoming ambience. Its 300 sq m [984 sq ft] have a sophisticated public in mind too, people who don’t necessarily need to eat but may simply wish to socialize in a rather glamorous environment.