Patrick Jouin | Best Interior Designers from France – Patrick Jouin is a designer whose creativity finds an expression in industrial design for the decorative arts. With top manufacturers such as Cassina, Kartell, Alessi, Puiforcat, JC Decaux, and Fermob, and for exceptional projects, Patrick found a place in the landscape of international design where only a few know how to evolve with both ease and strength as he does.
Patrick Jouin was born in Nantes, France, in 1967. After graduating from the École Nationale de la Création Industrielle (ENSCI) in 1992, he started to design for Thomson multimedia under the Art Direction of Philippe Starck. Upon graduation, he was hired by Philippe Starck to work for Thomson Multimedia and then spent five years at Starck’s own firm. “People often assume that I’m his protégé,” says Jouin, “when, in fact, I stopped working for him 14 years ago.” Still, he does recognize a certain debt. It was Starck who introduced him to furniture design and taught him just how essential curiosity is for a designer.
An important figure in Jouin’s professional life is Canadian-trained architect Manku, who has been his associate since 2006. Together, they oversee Jouin Manku Studio, which counts a “James Bond-style” house in London, a winery in the Bordeaux region, and the renovation of the 12th-century Abbaye de Fontevraud in Anjou among its current projects. Jouin also runs a separate company, Patrick Jouin ID, specializing in industrial design.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL
The result of a collaboration between Paris-based Jouin Manku studio and Patrick Jouin ID, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is sited in the heart of the city of Paris. This venue provides two restaurants, a bar, a cake shop, and gardens of diverse atmospheres. Vegetated spaces lead guests into a light-filled dining space scented with camellias to blend the interior and exterior boundaries. The deliberate surfacing of columns and circulation areas with wood veneer evokes imagery of garden trees and pathways. A distinctive fabrication for this project, the table and chairs’ legs mimic wooded plantings growing from the earth.
HOTEL PLAZA ATHÉNÉE
A new look has been created for the bar and restaurant at the Plaza Athénée in Paris by the Jouin Manku design studio. Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku worked in a way similar to the great fashion designers by surrounding themselves with the most talented craftspeople to make every detail of the bar and restaurant a part of the vision. The only element retained from the restaurant’s former design is the ceiling chandelier which is now reflected in the polished stainless steel domes on the floor. These domes are an elegant twist on the traditional domed plate cover made by ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ – Matinox and Atelier Pierre-Yves Le Floc’h. A striking timber alcove wraps itself around a single table and creates privacy. The outside of the alcove is in unfinished timber, made of strips of curved oak joined together in a shape similar to the hull of a fishing boat. Its inner surface of molded plaster is finished with an imprint resembling the shape of a mushroom, taken from the restaurant’s old screens that were decorated with vegetables.
ABBAYE DE FONTEVRAUD
The cloister around which the priory is organized is the ‘stone heart’ of Saint-Lazare. To bring life back into this space, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku have chosen transparency. Using freestanding glass partitions, part of the restored cloister has been put back to its original use as a place for strolling, while the rest is occupied by the restaurant. Here the arrangement of tables encourages guests to let their gaze wander outside, towards the garden planted with aromatic and medicinal plants that chef Thibaut Ruggeri comes to pick whenever required. Arranged around two spaces within the cloister, the 88-cover restaurant extends into the chapter house. The furniture, restrained and contemporary, has mostly been made to measure, sometimes to adapt itself to the restraints imposed by the architecture. The fabric and leather banquettes placed on the chapter house’s stone benches are a case in point. As are the hanging wooden lights, whose unusual shape helps to deal with the difficult acoustics.
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