Odile Decq Benoît Cornette Architectes Urbanistes

Paris, 2011

Back-lit frosted glass and steel, mirror

The monumental theater of Opéra Garnier in Paris is one of the symbols of the French eclectic architecture of the second half of the 19th century. In this renowned monument of the city and of France as a whole, the new Phantom Restaurant (whose name refers to the famous novel The Phantomof the Opera by Gaston Leroux, set precisely in the spaces of Palais Garnier) is the result of an architecture competition won by the studio of Odile Decq. The project involved a pavilion that is part of the theater but organized in an almost independent, separate way. It was previously known as the “subscribers’ rotunda,” and it sheltered the carriages of theatregoers as they arrived. In spite of the limited size, the design of the Phantom facility contains guidelines of great efficacy regarding methods of intervention in important historic buildings, indicating a design approach that maintains its contemporary character while proceeding with great care and total respect for the existing work. The washstands in the restrooms, custom made by Marzorati Ronchetti, reflect the overall philosophy of the project, as self-contained objects detached from the architectural enclosure. The glass parallelepiped lit from within contains the washstands on the upper surface, forming sculptural geometric hollows, while a large blade of two-sided mirrors is placed diagonally above the volume, also to reflect the surrounding space.

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