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AIX

  • Interior Design
  • Branding
  • Styling & Accessories

To design a restaurant inspired by a place you’re never experienced required ai3 to solicit many stories from Chef Nick Leahy, exploring the memories that defined his time in Aix-en-Provence. Chef described how the Provencal experience is different from any other place in the world.

The design is meant to feel like an escape, a curated experience.

The space encourages guests to be guided by the Provençal expression ‘à ce moment’ or ‘in this moment’ – a reflection on savoring the moments that connect us to a time, place and people through the simple pleasure of eating and drinking.

An art installation inspired by the French game of pétanque visually divides the bar and dining room.

The piece resembles an abacus, with wood cochonnets (balls) threaded on steel string creating an abstract pattern, and further utilizing the juxtaposition of natural and modern materials.

Mixing old and new world charm with family ties

While the team researched materials and incorporated a palette that represented Chef's vision of how it feels to be in Provence, experiencing this food, it is the storytelling elements that make the design special. On the wall of the wine room, mounted wire art spells out a classic recipe by the Chef's family matriarch, in her original handwriting.

The material palette does in fact draw inspiration from French street markets, and Old World elements are paired with modern touches. Provencal colors and natural materials give the restaurant a coastal feel, with chevron-patterned oak floors, stone walls, soft leather banquettes, plaster finishes and copper and rose gold accents. The quartz bar is paired with a copper foil bullnose edge, brass shelving and a rose gold mirror, surrounded by Provencal blue leather chairs and flanked by large blocked stonework reaching from the floor to ceiling.

AIX

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