Situted on Île Seguin, Paris, the award-winning Les Grandes Tables de L’île is a very unique concept in dining.
Comprising of a strand board box and surrounded by scaffolding, the restaurant offers exquisite dining and can be erected and deconstructed to create the ultimate pop-up dining experience.
Work began on the project in September 2010 and was completed just ahead of its grand opening in September 2011. Les Grandes Tables was the main contractor on the project, whilst 1024 Architecture was responsible for the site’s unusual design.
The 120-cover restaurant covers an area of 300 metres² and comprises scaffolding, wood fibre panels and containers. During the evenings and for special events the site can also be illuminated via the use of specially installed lighting effects.
Discussing the site with Premier Construction, 1024 Architecture Architect, Pierre Schneider, said:
“When designing this restaurant we really wanted to create a site which could appear and then disappear without leaving any trace of its existence. The site can be unplugged and deconstructed very quickly and once the site is taken down the scaffolding can be broken apart and resold. Up to 80% of the restaurant can be recycled, so the real beauty of a project like this is that it is very cost effective.
“The materials we used on this project were very unusual as they are the type of materials that would be used during the construction process and certainly not the type of materials we would use on more traditional projects. However this was our goal; to make the restaurant appear as if it wasn’t quite complete, as if it was nearing the final stages of construction.”
“There were many contradictions in terms of the construction process on this project, but this was an essential element in making this project work.
“We also had to ensure that the site could cope with different weather conditions, so although it is light in its construction it includes concrete foundations to keep it in place. Ordinarily we wouldn’t design a building to fall apart, but on this occasion this is exactly what we wanted, only with solutions to ensure that it could come apart when we needed it to and not before.
“Even though this building is temporary it had to be designed in the same way as a permanent structure.”
Prior to work taking place on the restaurant the site was formerly the home of car manufacturer Renault, who housed a factory on Île Seguin, however the site remained empty for some time before the new restaurant was constructed.
Once work on the site was complete not only did the restaurant’s unique design catch the attention of its guests, but it also caught the attention of the judges of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012 who awarded the site Best UK and International Pop-Up Restaurant.
“The project was the only restaurant in its category which was truly able to disappear without a trace and the recyclable element of the site really stood out.
“To win an award was really great. We won a national prize in France but to get international acknowledgement for our work was really fantastic. Everyone who was involved with the project and everyone on the island is very proud of the restaurant’s achievement.”