Posts Tagged ‘patrick jouin’

Promenade with Patrick Jouin – Part 6

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Patrick Jouin in the Plaza Athénée Bar
(c) Discover Paris!

For the final stage of the promenade, we stopped at the posh Hôtel Plaza Athénée, where Patrick Jouin has remodeled elements of the bar, the lounge, and the restaurant. The bar now has a futuristic look, as it is made out of hand-crafted Mureno glass. Gentle illumination at its base casts an eerie sea-green glow into the room. At the far end of the lounge, an immense ceiling fixture that looks like a giant oblong bunion pad adds another futuristic touch.

For the most part, the classic look of the restaurant escaped his radical tampering. The main change there was to the chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Here, the crystal elements have been “exploded,” each pendant suspended by a separate wire, rather than clustered together in a spray. The result gives an appearance of expansiveness, which, to my eye, is disturbing, as I prefer the complex hanging pattern of the crystal to be bunched together, where I can readily identify its arrangement.

To end the promenade, we returned to the bar, where Mr. Jouin made final comments and answered questions as we sipped fruit juice served by an elegantly dressed young waiter. For all of us, the day had been quite an enjoyable, educational experience in the world of design!

This is the last post in the series entitled “Promenade with Patrick Jouin.”

Patrick Jouin under Chandelier
(c) Discover Paris!

Promenade with Patrick Jouin – Part 5

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Second Floor Dining Room of Sombath Restaurant
(c) Discover Paris!

Patrick Jouin met us at two restaurants that he redesigned. The first, called Sombath, is a Thai restaurant whose cultural references he rendered so abstractly that it could pass for any type of expensive restaurant serving any kind of cuisine. Colors in scintillating gold, bold orange, and soft creams are supposed to call to mind temple treasures, women’s dresses and rice paddies. To the designer perhaps! But for me, entering into the restaurant was like entering into a kind of Starship Enterprise equipped with padded walls and gentle curves to protect the diners in the event of a sudden stop.

The restaurant seems to have been deliberately designed to force the diner to set aside any preconceived notions that he may have held about Thailand. It is an intellectual exercise that I would not want to be obliged to engage in when sitting down to enjoy a good Thai meal. Give me a Thai restaurant that looks like a Thai restaurant!

Promenade with Patrick Jouin – Part 4

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Patrick Jouin Talks about Urban Design
(c) Discover Paris!

During the promenade with Patrick Jouin, he presented his ideas about how his designs for street furniture fit in with the Parisian scene: “Because Paris is unique, we should create street furnishings in its image…There should not be a striking contrast.” For the Velib’ bicycle project, Mr. Jouin created bicycle attachment points to resemble blades of grass bending in the wind. The information and payment terminal has a form round and supple, like that of the trunk of a tree. Angles have been suppressed, and the result is a bicycle station that is pleasing to the eye.

His plant-inspired motifs are based upon a style of art and architecture called Art Nouveau that was popular in Paris (and in other cities) around the turn of the 20th century, particularly the style that was developed by Hector Guimard for the entrances of the metro stations.

Velib' Bicycle Station
(c) Discover Paris!

Promenade with Patrick Jouin – Part 3

Saturday, March 27th, 2010
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Patrick Jouin took great care to fit the new generation of outdoor public toilets into the existing decor of the city. For the exterior design, he found inspiration in Hector Guimard’s Art Nouveau entrances to Paris’ underground metro stations. The result is a graceful curve at the top of the sanisette that terminates in an overarching roof, providing some shelter for persons waiting outdoors in the rain.

For the interior design, he first commissioned a study to determine how people use a public toilet and what might be the source of their reluctance to use one. The interior of the new sanisette takes into account many of the concerns that were revealed by the study. For example, it is more roomy than the old model, and the roof is translucent, allowing natural lighting to filter in. Many subtle changes were incorporated, including the positioning of the toilet on the sidewalk, out of the flow of pedestrian traffic.

Like the old model, the new one is self-cleaning after each use (the toilet bowl retracts and is washed, and the floor is washed).

The success of his design will be measured by the public acceptance of the units, especially by women, who were reluctant to use the old model. I used a new sanisette recently and found the experience, including such simple tasks as soaping, washing, and drying hands, much more agreeable than my experience with the old model, some of which still exist in neighborhoods around the city.

Patrick Jouin Talks about His New Sanisette
(c) Discover Paris!

Promenade with Patrick Jouin – Part 1

Sunday, March 21st, 2010
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Patrick Jouin at the Centre Pompidou
(c) Discover Paris!

On Saturday, March 13, I joined a group called Promenades Urbaines for a walk around Paris with Patrick Jouin, an architect who has been involved in the creation of a number of projects for the city. Mr. Jouin calls himself (in French) a designer. I’m not sure what the equivalent would be in English, but it would encompass architecture as well as interior and industrial design. In any event, there is no denying his creative spirit and enthusiasm for the projects that he has been engaged in. The promenade took us all over Paris to view a number of his works in the public and in the private sectors, including the new generation of outdoor public toilets, or sanisettes (of which he is particularly proud), and the Velib’ bicycle stations. In the private sector, he has designed cooking utensils, eating utensils, lamps, and chairs, as well as the interiors of restaurants, including Alain Ducasse’s posh Plaza Athénée. I plan to present some of his creations in future blog entries. In the meantime, travelers to Paris can visit an exhibition of his works, entitled Patrick Jouin, La substance du design, at the Centre Pompidou through May 24.