HALLE AUX GRAINS

Architect | Tadao Ando

Location | Paris

Product | Alcova by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Invited to design the public square and furnishings, exte- rior and interior, for the new Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection contemporary art museum, Ronan and Erwan Bou- roullec have created a wide-ranging project to define each space. Each arrangement has been used to instil a particular atmos- phere within its context, and is the result of detailed research and collaboration with a variety of highly skilled manufacturers and craftsmen.

Aware of the delicate harmony of the building’s layers of ar- chitecture, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec set out to design pieces to furnish and form its spaces, avoiding interference or artifice. This was carefully balanced with a concern for the comfort of visitors. Throughout, spaces have been considered on a scale that is almost domestic, ensuring ease of use, physical comfort and fluid functionality with the utmost finesse. Materials and fabrics have been selected for atmosphere and wellbeing, dampening acoustics, softening footfall, capturing light, always with gentle elegance.

On the top floor, beneath the glazed cupola and overlooking all of Paris, mythical Auvergnat chefs Michel and Sébastien Bras have taken their place with the new restaurant the Halle aux Grains. For Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, the challenges here were to create an atmosphere of comfort and wonder, and to ma- nage and celebrate the natural light that floods the space.

Sound and light are softened for diners by means of textile partitions, fine, very graphic ‘guipure,’ gauze panels that break up the space, which is also punctuated by a series of vertical lights and pieces of colourful glass, specially made by WonderGlass in ochres, greens, reds, in a celebration of the bountiful light. Mirrors of thick slabs of cast glass made near Venice render the effect manifold.