What’s the story behind this place, Pauline and Delphine?
Le Camondo is the old garage of The Hôtel Camondo. The basement, which has now become the restaurant’s kitchen, was a mechanics’ workshop and the apartments above it used to house the drivers and mechanics. The Hôtel Camondo, which was left by its owner, Moïse de Camondo, to Les Arts Décoratifs, is a mansion built in the early 1900s. The building has been preserved in its original condition and houses a large collection of 18th century objects and paintings.
How did Agence Favorite design this space? What did you want to achieve with this project?
We looked at this place as a link to the mansion and endeavoured to make reference to that via a range of signs. We were struck by the modernity of its kitchens and bathrooms (the ceramic finish of the bar, made to measure by céramiques du Beaujolais, is a nod to that), we reworked it all in a contemporary style, with a graphic motif on the bar to create a focal point in the centre of the restaurant. Another thing we wanted to do was to echo the materials of the furniture in the mansion: the caning of the chairs, the marquetry on the tables, the velvet cushions, the wooden panelling on the walls, the old carpets, once again reinterpreted in a modern way. Of course, we had to preserve the things that make this outbuilding so majestic: its size, its raw attributes (concrete floor, basement lighting via glass blocks, metal girders, concrete walls), inhabit it without the interior design overtaking the place, and approach it with humility. The brass structure and the ceiling light accentuate its verticality.
Which part are you most proud of?
We concentrated essentially on the bar, to make an element that would structure the space. It inhabits it to its full height thanks to the ceiling light and its structure in brass and coloured glass, designed for the place.
Is there an Agence Favorite signature?
There is always that same preoccupation with creating a liveable, personal space (most of the fittings are specially designed for the place (tables, benches, ceiling light, ceramic finish on the bar, mirrors, etc.), to design public spaces as private spaces. That same desire to use beautiful raw materials as they are (linen, velvet, brass, etc.), to create contrasts between those materials but also to bring them together.
How would you describe the world of Le Camondo in a few words?
The world of Le Camondo is a contemporary version of the mansion, both noble and raw. It is intended to be both stylish and welcoming, without unnecessary flourishes.
Photography & Text: Eve Campestrini @thesocialitefamily